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How to Make Pâté en Croûte

How to Make Pâté en Croûte

Once baked and cooked, seal the pâtés en croûte by pouring or funneling melted aspic through the chimney.

Culinary Institute of America

Making Pâté en Croûte

Today, pâtés en croûte are often made in rectangular molds. The advantage of these molds is that they have regular dimensions and straight sides. This encourages even baking and helps reduce the chances of undercooking the dough. Another reason to choose a rectangular mold is the ability to make uniform slices. However, an oval pâté en croûte may be a more dramatic presentation if it is being served whole on a buffet or being displayed uncut, as a retail item for sale.

Step 1: Line the pâté mold with dough

First, roll out sheets of dough to a thickness of approximately 1/8 to 1/4 in / 3 to 6 mm. It is important to roll the dough evenly and to handle it gently to avoid tearing or stretching the dough as you line the mold.

Now, mark the dough by pressing all sides of the mold very lightly into the dough. This will produce the appropriate pattern for the interior of the mold. To line a straight-edged terrine mold, allow an overhang of 1/2 in / 1 cm on one side piece as well as enough to fold over the mold’s opening, plus 1/2 in / 1 cm to secure it into the sides. Allow an overhang of about 1 to 1 1/2 in / 3 to 4 cm for oval or round molds.

The excess dough in the corners should be cut out before the dough is transferred to the mold. Reserve the excess dough to make the reinforcements for the vent holes you will cut in the top of the pâté, as well as any decorations you may wish to apply.

Set the dough in the mold so that the overhang on one side of the mold is enough to completely cover the top of the mold and extend down into the mold on the opposite side at least 1/2 in / 1 cm. The overhang on the other side will be about 1/2 in /1 cm. Use eggwash to “glue” the pastry together in the corners and pinch the seams.

If you wish, a second liner may be added at this time. Fatback is commonly used, but prosciutto and other thinly sliced cooked meats can be used to create a special effect.

At this point, the mold should be filled with the forcemeat and any inlay garnish.

Fold the liner and then the excess dough over the top of the forcemeat. Pinch the edges of the overlapping dough slightly so that when the dough is overlapped, it has the same thickness as the other three sides.

A top crust, or cap, is the traditional way to finish enclosing the forcemeat in pastry. Straight-sided pâtés can be prepared without a separate cap piece as follows: Remove the pins of the mold, place the bottom of the mold on the top of the pâté, reinsert the pins, and invert the entire assembly. This will give a smooth, neat top piece, without any extra layers of dough. It also allows the weight of the pâté and mold to hold the seams along the edges of the mold, preventing them from blowing out as the pâté bakes.

Oval pâtés or other shapes should have a separate cap piece. Cut a piece of dough large enough to completely cover the mold. Trim away any excess and tuck the edges down into the mold.

For the steps 2 and 3 of making a pâtés en croûte, go to the next page >>