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Scallop and vegetable pie with champagne sauce

Scallop and vegetable pie with a Champagne sauce

A scrumptious recipe for scallop and vegetable pie –  ‘hot-air balloons’ – with champagne sauce, in French: Montgolfière de Saint-Jacques, petits légumes et sauce  champagne from Ferrandi, Paris. This is one of those recipes that looks a lot more complicated than it is, and tastes divine. Refined home-cooking that makes memories.

 Serves 4
Active time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 15–20 minutes
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Freezing time: 15 minutes

Fine-mesh sieve
4 lion’s head (small, deep, ovenproof) soup bowls

Scallop and vegetable filling
3½ oz. (100 g) button mushrooms
Olive oil
3½ oz. (100 g) broccoli
3 oz. (80 g) celeriac
3 oz. (80 g) green asparagus
3½ oz. (100 g) baby carrots, tops on
2 oz. (60 g) thin French green beans
12 scallops (about 1 lb./480 g)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Champagne sauce
2 oz. (60 g) tomatoes
3½ oz. (100 g) shallots
1 tbsp (15 g) butter
1½ tbsp (15 g) flour
1⅔ cups (400 ml) champagne
Generous ¾ cup (200 ml) white chicken stock (fond blanc de volaille)
¼ cup (1½ oz./40 g)
crème fraiche

To assemble
9 oz. (250 g) quick puff pastry
1 generous tbsp (12 g) toasted sesame seeds
1 egg
2 egg yolks

To garnish (optional)
Shaved white truffle

Preparing the scallop and vegetable filling

Wash and quarter the mushrooms and brown them in a skillet over medium-high heat with a little butter and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Wash the broccoli, remove the florets, and cut the most tender parts of the stalks into small dice. Peel the celeriac and cut into ½ × 1¼-in. (1 × 3-cm) sticks. Cut off the asparagus tips ¾ in. (2 cm) from the ends (reserve the tips for another use) and cut 1¼ in. (3 cm) off the bases (discard). Cut each remaining stalk into 4 diagonal pieces. Wash and scrub the carrots and cut off the tops, leaving ½ in. (1 cm). Trim the ends off the green beans. Poach all the vegetables (except the mushrooms) for a few seconds in a large saucepan of boiling salted water and plunge into ice-cold water to stop the cooking. In a skillet with a little olive oil and butter, cook the vegetables separately over medium-high heat until lightly golden. Season with salt and pepper, then chill until assembling. In a clean skillet with a pat of butter, brown the scallops on one side over high heat for 1 minute, then place in the freezer for 15–20 minutes to prevent them from over-cooking in the oven.

 Preparing the champagne sauce

Wash and cut the tomatoes (skin on) into ½-in. (1-cm) dice. Peel and finely chop the shallots and cook in the butter over low heat until softened. Stir in the flour and tomatoes. Pour in the champagne and reduce by half. Add the stock and let cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in the crème fraîche and cook over low heat until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Strain through the fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing down to recover all the liquid.

Assembling the “hot air balloons”

Preheat the oven to 450°F (240°C/Gas Mark 8). Roll the pastry to a thickness of 1/16 in. (1.5 mm) and cut out 4 disks with a diameter about ¾ in. (2 cm) greater than that of the soup bowls. Divide the vegetables between the bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add 3 scallops and about ¼ cup (2 oz./60 g) of champagne sauce to each bowl. Whisk together the egg and egg yolks to make an egg wash and brush around the edges of each pastry disk, making a ¾-in. (1.5-cm) border. Place the disks over the bowls with the egg wash side down. Gently press down around the edges to seal the pastry to the bowls. Brush the tops with egg wash, poke a small hole in the center of each one to let steam escape, and score decoratively with a fine-tipped knife. Place in the oven, reduce the temperature to 430°F (220°C/Gas Mark 7), and bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately, garnished with shaved white truffle, if you wish.

Extracted from Charcuterie: Pâtés, Terrines, Savory Pies – Recipes and Techniques From the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts by Ferrandi Paris (Flammarion, 2023)

Photography credit © Rina Nurra

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