This crostini makes an elegant appetizer at your next gathering.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice 2 shallots, and saute until golden and caramelized, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
Quarter remaining shallot. Combine with port, bay leaves, peppercorns, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced to a thick syrup, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain into a medium saute pan. Add figs, and adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and thyme. Warm over medium heat until figs begin to give up some juice and soften, about 3 minutes. Toss gently to combine, and remove from the pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into two triangles. Place on a cookie sheet, lightly brush both sides with olive oil, and toast until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
Spread each slice of toast with pate. Spoon figs over the pate, and garnish with reserved shallots and thyme sprigs, or set out all the elements and let your guests help themselves.
Pate de foie gras spreads as easily as butter and is available in most specialty-food or cheese shops. It is usually sold in small individual terrines or sliced from a larger terrine and sold by the pound.