An Apple a Day Paté and Pie Eating At the Original Farmers Market

Well, I don’t really know where to start.

You probably know this is day 4 in my An Apple A Day series. I mean that’s why you are here right? You certainly could not have googled your way on over, because today’s post is just too odd, too random.

Because I have a recipe for an easy but elegant paté served with sauté ed maple-glazed apples, and this recipe is sharing the stage with a pie-eating contest. See what I mean, you never would have googled that!

Which leaves me with the same question. Where to start?

I guess I will start with the paté. Don’ let the term paté scare you off. It’s not a difficult preparation. I based this recipe on Michel Richard’s Chicken Faux Gras. I simplified it, though his version is not too difficult either. He serves it with a Parsley Gelée that is every bit as ingenious as the cleverly named faux gras. But this is apple week– so no parsley for Sup!

Instead I paired my paté with some maple glazed apple slices. It’s a natural pairing of flavors and really works well with the earthy richness of this chicken liver spread. I am pretty happy with my concoction.

honetcrisp appleBut you know me! Easy is as easy does, and easy is never so easy with me. Because, I wanted a certain type of apple for this recipe. The apple should not be too sweet, so I could (should) have been happy with Jonathan. Jonathan is an easy apple to come by in these parts. But no, I used Jonathan yesterday in my butternut squash soup. Today was to be the day for Honeycrisp apples.

These amazing apples seemingly came out of nowhere. They are a cross between a Macoun and Honey Gold, and were developed by breeders at the University of Minnesota back in 1974. But it was not until 1991 that they were made available to the public.

Honeycrisp apples have a high water content and are ultra-crisp. They have spoiled me on apples for life! This apple is the barometer by which I measure and compare all other eating apples. That’s because they are spicy, they taste like you are eating Apple Cider; refreshing and a bit tart, yet spicy sweet.

In my heart I knew they would pair well with the maple syrup glaze I had planned. Besides, the extra crisp quality would hold together when sautéeing I figured. But in truth I had never cooked with these apples before, so an adventure seemed in the making. How much adventure I was yet to see.

Honeycrisp apples are not easy to find in Los Angeles. But every year I can always find a few at the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. So hitting the market last night on my way home was on my list.

Besides I had gotten an email from a publicist asking if I would help promote an event that was being held at the market. I do not get a million requests to promote things, especially events. That is probably because I pass on 90% of them. Publicists may consider me a waste of their time.

Because in all honesty, this event just did not seem like a good fit with the wildly sophisticated urban flair that is SippitySup!  I mean this event is a Fall Festival. And, are you ready? It is called Tractors, Cows and Animal Races, Oh My!

Oh my, indeed. I had planned to politely say I stopped by the market but did not feel it was a good fit for SippitySup. That’s a fair and polite way to handle it, don’t you think?

original farmers market 75 years logoBut once I got there things began to reorganize themselves in my mind. That’s because the Festival began 75 years ago, during the Great Depression. Enduring traditions are rare in Los Angeles. And I know you have heard me say this before, but I love LA. And this festival made me love LA just a little bit more!

That’s because anything 75 years old here is positively ancient. In my opinion something that permanent must be celebrated. I found myself feeling proud of LA because this festival has lasted so long. In fact it is the Market’s most enduring seasonal celebration. Which got the history buff in me interested because evidently the property used to be a dairy farm. Hence the cows, oh my.

Like I said, something happened to me while I was there. I started to have fun. A lot of fun! There was hoe-down music, and bales of hay. Kids had their faces painted to look like jack-a-lanterns. I found myself saying “awwwww, that’s cute”. I never say “cute”.

But the best was yet to come! They had a pie-eating contest. I thought pie-eating contests were fictional! I really did.  If I had gotten there just a bit earlier I might have even participated in this contest myself!

Although there is still time– the festival lasts all weekend, and there are 2 more pie eating contests. One today and one tomorrow; both are at 3:30 on the market plaza. Who knows, you might just see me there with a big bag of Honeycrisp apples and my face stuck in a blueberry pie.

pie eating videoNo wait, I have a better idea! A paté-eating contest! Yeah… Chicken Liver Paté with Maple Glazed Honeycrisp Apples! Those apples were perfect in this recipe so I think I may have just come up with an idea that’s bound to last another 75 years. (click video to watch)

You better get busy on that paté. That festival is going to need all they can get!

Chicken Liver Paté with Maple Glazed Apples  click recipe title for printable version serves 12

  • 16 T unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 1/2 c shallots, minced
  • 1 clv garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 c cream
  • 1 lb chicken livers, rinsed, with dark spots and veins removed
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, unpeeled but cored and cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 t sea salt

pate with applesMelt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and stir them to get them well coated. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pan, letting them cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the shallots have become transluscent, add the garlic and stir.

Slowly pour the cream into the pan, and stir the mixture together. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to cook another 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove the cover. Add the rest of the butter stirring to melt and incorporate it into the mixture.

Put all of the raw livers into a blender, add the white wine and the warm cream mixture, the salt and some pepper. Blend until completely smooth. Scrape the sides as you work to ensure a good creamy texture.

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

Place 4 oven proof, 1‑cup sized bowls or ramekins into a deep baking dish. They should not touch. Using a strainer for the smoothest possible texture strain the chicken liver mixture into each bowl, dividing the mixture evenly.

Cover each bowl with foil, and place the baking dish onto the middle rack of the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Gently slide the rack back into the oven, and cook at for about 40 minutes. When cooked remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely before uncovering the ramekins. Once cool transfer the covered pâté to the refrigerator to get cold.

Just before serving melt the final tablespoon of butter in a medium sized skillet set over medium heat. Add the apples all in one layer. Cook them, undisturbed until brown on one side 3–5 minutes. Turn the apples over, and add the syrup and cook an additional minute or two. The apples should be soft but not mushy.

Transfer the apples to a serving plate and pour any remaing liquid over them. Sprinkle them with sea salt and serve along side the pâté and some crusty bread.



Greg Henry