Tag Archives: Good Housekeeping

Delectable Duck and Cherry Pie

The 27th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is such an unusual pie and so quackingly good!!!!!

The ‘ménage a trois’ that is duck, port and cherries is truly a harmonious one! The rich, tender, dark duck meat combined with the sweetness of the fruit is simply delicious and the thyme-infused pastry is light and crisp – a fabulous Autumnal or Winter supper treat that will bring cheer to the table, whatever the weather is throwing at you. Dive in!

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x 1.6 litre pie dish, lightly buttered

6 duck legs

600ml boiling water from the kettle

1½ chicken stock pots (I use Knorr)

25g butter

1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chunked

1 celery stick, roughly sliced

3 tablespoons plain flour

200ml port

1 bay leaf

6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

400g tin cherries in light syrup, drained

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 happy egg, beaten (to glaze pastry lid)

for the pastry

400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

200g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

1 happy egg

2 tablespoons cold water

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

What to do…

First, the filling: preheat your oven to 180°c / 350° / gas 4.

Put the duck legs on a wire rack in a roasting tray. Roast for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the delish filling. First, make your stock by combining the boiling water with the stockpot using a balloon whisk to easily dissolve.

In your food processor, finely chop the onion, carrot and celery.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter and gently cook the onion, carrot and celery, covered, for about 15 minutes, until soft.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, tip in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring like mad. Pour in the port and stock and chuck in the herbs. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes to reduce.

Take off the heat, stir in the cherries and balsamic vinegar and set aside to cool.

When the duck is cool, remove the skin and roughly break up the meat. Wipe out your food processor bowl with kitchen roll to make sure there are no raw vegetable remnants clinging to the sides and then fit the blade and chop the duck so it’s quite fine but still in distinguishable pieces. I did this in three batches. Stir the duck into the sauce. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re preparing ahead, stick the filling in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the pie – overnight works really well.

To the pastry: pulse the flour and butter in your clean food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Use a small balloon whisk to beat together the egg and water and then tip into the processor with the thyme leaves. Pulse again until the pastry comes together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7 and pop in a baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry and line your pie dish, leaving the excess overhanging.

Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 1 cm strips long enough to cover the pie dish.

Brush the pie rim with beaten egg. Tip in the filling.

Lay the pastry strips across the filling in a lattice pattern, gently pressing them on the pie rim to stick. Trim the excess pastry from the edge of the pie and brush egg over the pastry lattice to glaze.

Pop into the oven onto the baking sheet for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6 for a further 25 minutes until golden brown and piping hot. Dive in and enjoy this lovely pie!

Inspired by…

Good Housekeeping magazine

How easy…

Really easy and you can go off and do other things whilst the filling is going through its various cooking stages.  The pastry topping takes a little time and you have to concentrate – look at mine: I was Skyping Maddie at the time and the latticework isn’t quite what it should be!!!!! I love the fact that you can prepare the filling the day before so if you’ve got friends coming around, you have very little to do for this splendid supper on the evening when you’re socialising.

Blackberry and Blueberry ‘No-Bake’ Cheesecake

Serves 10 -12

An absolute ‘wow’ of a decadent dessert that could take central stage at any dinner as well as a cheeky family lunch! A crispy, rich ‘Oreo’ base is perfect to underpin the light, fluffy and fabulously fruity flavour of the ‘mousse’ that is the mainstay of this delicious cheesecake; and all topped with a glossy, slightly tart yet sweet jelly that is bursting with the Autumnal flavours that are blackberries. Just yummy!

What you need…

1 x deep, 20cm round cake tin, liberally buttered and lined with parchment paper

60g butter, melted

250g Oreo biscuits

200g blueberries

350g blackberries

150g caster sugar

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, separated

100ml water

400g full-fat cream cheese

250g mascarpone

300ml double cream

3 sheets fine-leaf gelatine

to decorate

Blueberries and blackberries, (optional)

What to do…

Whizz the Oreo biscuits in your food processor until quite fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and whizz to evenly combine. Tip into your cake tin, spread evenly over the bottom and then use the back of a spoon to press firmly into place. Chill.

Meanwhile, heat the berries, 25g of the sugar, all of the lemon juice and the water in a saucepan until bubbling. Bubble gently for around 15 minutes or until the blackberries are super mushy.

Push the fruit mixture through a sieve, using the back of a spoon to press down hard, extracting as much juice as possible. Either discard the purée or cover it and chill it to make mini blackberry and apple pies or spread on toast (like I did!) Back to the recipe: cover and cool the berry juice.

When you’re ready to assemble, tip the cream cheese, mascarpone, double cream, remaining sugar and all of the lemon zest into a large bowl and use an electric handheld whisk to beat until really stiff. Pour in 150ml of the berry juice (reserving the rest) and whisk again to incorporate. Plop the ‘mousse’ onto the base and spread evenly and level. Pop into the fridge and chill for 1 hour.

To the jelly: soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 275ml berry juice until hot (if you’re a bit short on the juice, just top it up with a little water). Remove from the heat, squeeze the excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the juice. Stir to dissolve. Cool for 15 minutes and then pour over the ‘mousse’. Carefully, pop your cheesecake back into the fridge for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight.

To serve, gently release your cheesecake from its tin confines and peel away the parchment paper. Transfer to a pretty serving plate and decorate with blueberries and blackberries. Cut into wedges of gorgeousness and simply savour every delicious mouthful. Go for a second piece!

Tip…

Pick your blackberries, wash them, dry on kitchen towel and then freeze in bags – no need to lay them out flat on trays

Inspired by…

Good Housekeeping

How easy…

It takes time but you can do it in stages and go off and do other things whilst the different elements chill and cool. Other than that, it’s dead easy to make, requires no baking and is sensational. Also, you have to make it the day before you want it, which I love.