I changed my mind about making more Foie Gras ravioles and made a Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard Mi-Cuit aux Pommes instead. I guess that I didn't feel like wrapping dozens of ravioles. Besides, Hubby the Perfectionist (who usually follows recipes quite religiously) wasn't around and I felt that it was the moment for me to make my Foie Gras alone and sans surveillance.
I'm the aga-aga (estimation) kind of cook. I like to cook by feeling and often improvise along the way. So far I've done quite well this way and see no reason to waste time measuring ingredients religiously when I could just get on with the cooking.
The French would tell you to treat the whole raw liver delicately and try not to break it or smash it too much when de-nerving it. I'm neither delicate nor patient, so I de-nerved it more or less by tugging at the main vein and seeing where it would lead me to, cutting up the liver into big chunks if it suited me to do so. Experience has taught me that once prepared, you wouldn't really be able to tell the difference between the more delicately and not so delicately treated liver.
The French would also tell you that you have to marinate your liver and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking it. I didn't feel like waiting as I wanted to cook something else the next day, so of course I didn't wait.
I lined half the liver (e.g. 300g/600g) in a porcelain terrine (better that it be too small than too big, don't squash the pieces, just put them in gently), added salt and pepper (you can't really add them once the liver's cooked so do know how much salt and pepper you would want in your foie gras at this point), very thin slices of Braeburn apple, sprinkled ground Cinnamon over them, added in the other half of the liver, added more salt and pepper, and then poured in a generous amount of Ice Wine (Muscat, Sauternes or Monbazillac would do just as nicely).
Then I started to heat up my oven to 80ºC and put in a baking tray filled with water to be heated up (or just add hot water). When the water in the tray and the temperature in the oven are both at 80ºC, put the terrine (covered) onto the baking tray (the water should cover the terrine up to about 1cm from its edge) and bake in the oven (we call it a Bain-Marie) for 20 minutes. Then turn up the heat to 190ºC and once the temperature's achieved, cook the terrine for another 10 minutes. This should give a half-cooked (mi-cuit) Foie Gras, so if you prefer it more cooked, increase the cooking time by another 5-10 minutes.
Hardworking cooks will then drain the liquid fat from the terrine and start to filter the floating bits of liver from the fat. Some will even start to heat up the fat so that they may clarify it, removing blood from it. Then return the fat to the liver in the terrine. Me, without Hubby watching, I just let the terrine cool for an hour and then dump the whole thing in the fridge. I didn't even bother to put a weight on my foie gras, because I know that if I let it sit for at least 24 hours (preferably more), it'll settle down just as well and not risk being dwarfed by the weight.
This evening, Hubby took the terrine out of the fridge and cut out a slice of the Foie Gras to see if it was ready. It was nicely pink, cut up cleanly (didn't fall apart) and tasted really good. Baby Girl was all excited about it as she just loves toast with Foie Gras. And I now have enough to make her toasts through the week.
PS : If you intend to keep the terrine for more than 5 days, you may wish to cook the apples first in a frying pan with just a bit of butter, sugar, salt and ground cinnamon. Fresh apples even cooked with the terrine may change colour and turn black after a few days, even though they are still perfectly edible (just not very appetizing).