Olive oil for greasing
1 cup Marsala
3 tablespoons pickled green peppercorns,
1 pound duck livers, bile sacks removed
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon (or more) freshly ground white pepper
Accompaniments such as toasted or grilled bread, pickled onions and cornichons
INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange rack in lower third of oven.
Brush a bread pan (4 1/2 x 10 inches or similar size) or terrine mold with olive oil and line with a piece of parchment or wax paper. The paper should extend at least 1/2 inch over the side of the pan. Place the pan in a larger pan with sides at least 2 inches high.
Boil the Marsala and peppercorns in a small skillet over high heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Strain and set the liquid aside. Spread the peppercorns evenly in the paper-lined pan.
Puree the livers in a food processor until totally smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and eggs and process just until the liver paste cleans the sides of the bowl.
Pass the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve and add the reduced Marsala. Stir in the salt, thyme, sugar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Add enough hot water to the larger pan to come 1/2 inch up the side of the terrine mold. Place on the lower shelf of the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until just set. Let stand at room temperature until cool; refrigerate until well chilled.
To remove the flan, invert onto a plate or small plastic board and tug on the parchment until the flan releases.
Serve with toasted or grilled bread, pickled onions and cornichons.
Note: The flan may be baked in individual ramekins, if desired. In that case, place in a water bath and reduce the cooking time by half. These should be served in the ramekins, as they are too difficult to unmold, so you don't need to line them with parchment.
Serves 8 to 10.
PER SERVING: 305 calories, 12 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 26 g fat (15 g saturated), 400 mg cholesterol, 753 mg sodium, 0 fiber.