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Chicken Liver Parfait on Toasted Cherry Scones served with Plum Jam and Hibiscus-scented Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream

by Chef Paul Ainsworth

ingredients 31 ingredients
Prep 45 minutes Cooking 2 hours
user icon Serves 10 people
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  • For the Chicken Liver Parfait (make the day before)
  • 100ml brandy
  • 100ml port
  • 100ml madeira
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 150g butter
  • 250g chicken livers
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Cornish sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • For the Plum Jam
  • 5 red or purple plums
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • Thumb-sized piece root ginger
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 125ml cider or white wine vinegar
  • Small pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1⁄2 small cinnamon stick
  • 1⁄2 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 star anise
  • 1⁄2 tsp pink peppercorns
  • For the hibiscus powder
  • 125g dried hibiscus flowers
  • For the cherry scones
  • 140g plain flour
  • 140g strong flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 12g baking powder
  • 5g fine salt
  • 75g butter (fridge cold)
  • 1 egg (fridge cold)
  • 30g dried sour cherries (optional)
  • To finish
  • 1 small packet of wood sorrel or similar (optional)
  • 227g of Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream



  • Two oven-proof dishes
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Knife
  • Blender
  • Sieve
  • Spatula
  • Jug
  • Tin foil
  • Food thermometer
  • Large saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Muslin
  • Flat baking tray
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Stand mixer with paddle
  • Cling film
  • 30mm round cutter
  • Teaspoon

Tip: Make the chicken liver parfait the day before so it has time to fully chill, set and for the flavours to develop.

  1. Set up a Bain Marie
  • Preheat your oven to 120°C.
  • Place one ovenproof dish inside another, then half-fill the bottom dish with warm water. Place the brandy, port and madeira in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Slice the shallot and add to the pan, followed by the thyme then reduce until syrupy. Remove the sprig of thyme and keep warm.
  • Melt the butter and keep warm. Then, take a blender and pour in your reduced liquid, followed by the chicken livers and blend together, scraping down the sides as you go. Add the eggs one by one and slowly pour in the melted butter. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve into a clean jug, scraping the sieve with a spatula to pass it all through. Tap the jug well to remove any bubbles and pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish sitting in your Bain Marie.
  • Cover with tin foil, place in your pre-heated oven and cook for approximately 50 minutes until the core temperature reaches 68°C – use a food thermometer to check the temperature.
  • When the parfait is cooked it will be set with a slight wobble, exactly like a crème brûlée. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then chill in the fridge overnight.


  1. Make your plum jam
  • Prepare the plums by cutting them in half, twisting and removing the stones. Chop into thumb-sized pieces and add to a large saucepan. Peel and chop the onion, garlic and ginger and add to the pan.
  • Combine the sugar and vinegar in a bowl, mix well and add to the pan. Combine chilli flakes, cinnamon stick, allspice, star anise and peppercorns in a piece of muslin and tie securely with string. Add to the pan and cook this mixture over medium heat for 30-35 minutes until intense and sticky.
  • Remove the spice bag pan from the pan. This mixture can be blended in a food processor at this stage for smooth, pipeable jam or left with a chunkier texture for a more traditional rustic jam.


  1. Make your hibiscus powder
  • Blend the dried hibiscus in a blender on full speed then place in an airtight container and set aside.


  1. Make your scones
  • Increase your oven to 180°C.
  • Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper or a silicone baking mat. Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Dice the butter and add to the bowl. Mix on slow speed for 10-15 minutes until you achieve a breadcrumb-like texture. Alternatively, mixing by hand will be just as effective.
  • Combine the milk and egg in a jug and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and cherries if using into the dry ingredients until the dough comes together, being careful at this stage not to overwork the dough.
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together by hand. Roll the dough out into a 2 cm thick slab. Cover with cling film and chill your dough in the fridge for 15-20 mins to relax and firm up. Remove the scone dough from the fridge and using a 30 mm round cutter cut out your 20 scones. Flour well before cutting out each scone by pressing in a downward motion. Tap out firmly and confidently onto the baking sheet.
  • Make sure all your scones are presented with the smoothest side facing up and are well-spaced – they will expand to about twice their original volume as they cook.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and risen. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.


  1. Assemble the dish
  • Now transfer the parfait to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle.
  • Take a serving platter then add a dab of plum jam on the plate and place the scone on top – the jam will secure the scone. Then pipe, or spoon, little dollops of parfait on top, followed by 1⁄2 tsp of the plum jam. Repeat with the next scone until all the scones are ready.
  • Finish with a spoonful of Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream, the Sorrell if using, and a generous dusting of hibiscus. To be enjoyed in one bite!


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