Friday, 19 November 2010

Pate de Canard en Croute Part II: Hubris

Oh dear, so - after all that fuss about how easy it all was, I cocked it up anyway.

Although I'd like to point out that this was an execution error and not a planning error - i.e. the pastry was fine, I just put it together slightly wrong. The pastry has split along the seam between the "basin" and the "lid" of the pastry - simple physics, really; an eggwash wasn't enough to stick the two bits together and the basin sagged under its own weight.

What I ought to have done was brought the basin pastry up and over the brow of the duck, so that it had something to rest on and then applied the lid as a sort of large piece of sellotape to hold it all together.

This means you can't execute Julia Child's final command on this, which is to cut round the lid of the pastry case, lift the duck out, untie the strings and then put it back. But I didn't do that anyway.

But still, it tasted jolly nice. I'm not sure phrases like "worth the effort" really apply here because nothing is worth that much effort. But, strangely enough, my husband went nuts for this - he thought it was really great and really special. Who'd have thought it? He wants me to make it for a festive Christmas Eve dinner. And, although I swore I'd never do it again, the look on his little face was so very winning that I might just have to.


  1. I'm dying to know what it looks like inside...any chance of a photo?


  2. Oh dear, sorry - ate it all without taking a photo of a cross-section.

    It basically looks like a sort of pie roulade; pastry round the oustide, then a layer of crisped duck skin, then the stuffing on the inside...

  3. Like the stuffing idea and may be tempted to make this myself for family. Another idea for pastry would be to cut out boned duck shaped piece for base, cook that first, then place boned duck on top, roll out top piece of pastry, lay over duck, tuck in underneath bottom cooked piece, then decorate and cook whole thing.

  4. Oh no! It was going so well. Great effort though - well done. Next up, a 10 bird roast?

  5. It looks AMAZING!!! you're my new food hero x (realise this may sound like i'm being sarcastic... but i'm truly amazed at your skill and patience involved in doing this... love it!)