Caviar Pie – Fancy Appetizer with Caviar, Eggs and Cream Cheese
Caviar pie is a beautiful addition to an hors d’oeuvres buffet or an elegant offering for guests to nibble on before a holiday meal. It’s salty and appetite-whetting, flavorful but not overwhelming, and easy to put together the day before your event.
There are a lot of opportunities to tweak this recipe to personalize it to your own preference. How do you like to eat your caviar? That is how you should construct this “pie.”
First, prepare your pan. For this recipe, I used a 4″ springform pan, so the quantities are perfect for that size. The resulting caviar pie will serve 8-10 as a light appetizer, with about 4 crackers for each guest.
Cut a strip of parchment. It should be about 4″ high. This will line the inside sides of the springform pan and make it easier to unmold the pie. Very lightly spray the inside of the pan (sides and bottom) with olive oil flavored cooking spray. Line the inside of the springform pan with the strip of parchment, overlapped the parchment strip at the end. It may not fit tightly against the side, but when you pack in the layers, it will be fine. Spray very lightly with cooking spray one more time.
You are going to create layers to make the pie. The bottom layer will be egg salad, a very thin middle layer will be embellishment/s, and the top layer – not counting the caviar – will be cream cheese.
The quantities below should fill the 4″ springform pan just a bit over the top, which will make use of the parchment “extension” that you created.
1. Egg Salad Layer
Boil, chill and peel four (4) eggs. Chop them finely in a large bowl, using a small sharp knife. Add 3 tablespoons of your favorite high-quality real mayonnaise. Mix in 2 tablespoons of well-drained capers. You can add ground white pepper if you want, but don’t add any salt. The caviar is plenty salty!
Spoon the egg salad into the prepared springform pan. Smooth it with a small spatula, pushing it down firmly.
2. Garnish Layer
Sprinkle these very finely chopped ingredients over the egg salad, to your taste, but not more than 1/4″ deep:
Fresh parsley, rinsed and thoroughly dried
Chopped red onion, washed in cold water to remove some of the bite
3. Cream Cheese Layer
Combine in a small food processor: 3 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives. Mix until completely smooth, with no lumps. This should be loose, but not runny, so that it holds its shape.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the parsley/onion layer, in small “splops” so that you cover the embellishments without disturbing them. Smooth the top.
4. Refrigerate Over Night
Cover the springform pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to set. You should also refrigerate the jar of caviar.
5. Finish and Serve
Empty the caviar into a very, very, very fine sieve. Set it over a small bowl so that the excess water drains off. You can tap it gently to ensure that it is as dry as possible. You don’t want the black liquid from the jar to stain your cream cheese layer.
NOTE! Never touch caviar with a metal utensil! You will damage the taste of the caviar. Use a shell, lucite or horn spoon or small knife. Be very gentle.
Gently open the latch on the springform pan and remove the ring. Leave the parchment on the pie. Using a very large knife, ease the pie off the bottom of the pan onto your serving dish. Go slowly and the pie will hold together nicely. Remove the parchment.
Pour the caviar onto the top of the pie, over the cream cheese layer. You can use your fingertips to pat it down gently.
Slice a lemon in half lengthwise, and then slice very thinly into 1/2 moon pieces. Remove any seed bits. Press the lemon slices into the sides of the pie.
Make green onion curls by slicing very, very thin 4″ long slivers of the green portion. Drop into ice water to curl. Dry thoroughly and decorate the top of the pie with the curls.
Serve with Carr’s plain table water crackers or thinly sliced baguette. Remember – use your caviar-safe knife or spoon.