The pie’s the limit14-03-2018
Pâté en croute, one of the crowning dishes of French gastronomy is back in favour and flavour with a range of new recipes to delight gourmet fans the world over.
A culinary trend taking hold
With a more delicate pastry crust, less salty jelly and lighter fillings, the pâté en croûte has been given a makeover, reinstated on menus in the finest restaurants, and by great chefs such as Loiseau, Georges Blanc and Paul Bocuse. Alain Ducasse has even prepared pâté en croûte for the French President. And it is a similar picture in traiteurs and delis too. Yohan Lastre, former pâté en croûte world champion in 2012, with his black pudding and pistachio rosace, decided to leave the famous La Tour d’Argent restaurant to set up a dedicated boutique in Paris’s 7th arondissement. They flock from France and the world over to taste his wares, all overwhelmed by the exquisite flavours of his pâté en croute specialities, including duck and green pepper, and chicken, lemon, mustard and tarragon.
Did you know ?
The humble pie even features in the epic painting Dejeuner sur l’herbe, by renowned French artist Claude Monet, where a pie, surrounded by fruit and wine, features in this depiction of a luncheon on the grass.
The star of social networks
Pâté en croûte has also earned its reputation as a popular culinary tourist attraction, often snapped in photographs and shared on Instagram for the world to see. In 2017, there were more than 4,300 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #pateencroute, and a further 1,300 at #patecroute, proving that pies are a popular foodie feature in social media stakes.
L’oreiller de la Belle Aurore
“L’oreiller de la Belle Aurore” is cited by the most lauded proponents of French cuisine as the most mythical dish from France’s rich gastronomic repertoire. The pâté en croûte in question is an XL, supersized, game pie creation, created in honour of the mother of Brillat-Savarin, the almighty gastronomic 18th – 19th century maestro, and creator of this dish. This colossal pastry “cushion” – hence l’oreiller – measuring 60cm wide and 25cm deep, is packed full of Bresse poultry, veal sweetbreads, Tricastin black truffles and more than 12 different types of game. A spectacular feat of culinary prowess that few chefs dare attempt. Reynon is the only charcuterie specialist in Lyon to carry off the famous “cushion”, and perhaps France’s only chef to offer it for sale over the festive season. And how could we forget the immense talent of the late, great Paul Bocuse, one of the rare culinary talents to successfully master this famous game cushion creation.
So, with a distinctive contemporary flavour, the pie is very much back in favour and back on menus the world over.
Want to know more about the history of the humble pie? Read on to discover more…