336 Aspics

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Le Guide Culinaire

By Auguste Escoffier

Published 1903

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The first point that must be given serious consideration in the preparation of an Aspic of whatever type is that the jelly should be succulent, absolutely clear and not too firm in texture.

When the Aspics are moulded as in the case of the old classical kitchen, the moulds used are always those with a central funnel, either plain or fancy. Border moulds can also be utilized but should normally be used when the particular aspic requires a garnish which is placed in the centre of the dish.

The preparation of a moulded Aspic is started by decorating the bottom and sides of the mould; for this the mould must be well chilled in crushed ice; alittle jelly almost at setting point, is poured in and by rolling the mould on the ice it will adhere to the sides. The items of decoration are then dipped into cool melted jelly and immediately fixed in place: the decoration is at the taste and discretion of the person doing it and cannot be defined precisely, the only thing that can be said is that it must be absolutely correct and should appear neat and clean when the Aspic is demoulded.

The items used for decoration should be in keeping with the nature of the principle ingredient of the Aspic; these are usually truffles, poached egg whites, gherkins, capers, various sprigs of herbs, thin slices of radish, lobster coral, salted ox tongue etc.

If the garnish of an Aspic comprises slices of various foods, rectangles of foie gras etc., and if the size of the mould makes it necessary to make several layers of ingredients they should be interposed with a layer of jelly between each. Each additional layer should not be started until the previous layer of jelly is sufficiently set.

The Aspic should always be finished with a fairly thick layer of jelly and where possible, the mould should be kept on ice while it is being garnished and filled. Salt should not be added to the ice as this will reduce the temperature to a point at which it may affect the clarity of the jelly.

For demoulding: Dip the mould in hot water, wipe it dry and turn the Aspic over on to either a folded serviette, a decorated rice base or a block of carved ice. Surround it with shapes of jelly in the form of diamonds, squares etc. or with chopped jelly.