I popped into my local mini supermarket the other day and just happened to look at their free recipe cards whilst waiting to pay. I was immediately struck by how amazing they were – utterly French and very high end if you know what I mean! They featured a delicious looking mango & lychee mousse, a very interesting dish of leeks infused with green tea & a cheesy sauce, sweet potato gnocchi and a croustade de canard. I was pretty impressed with this selection of recipes and rather startled to think that this is the type of thing the locals are cooking all the time, especially as we live very rurally. I guess I just assumed simpler fare was more the norm… I was especially drawn to the recipe for Croustade de Canard aux Epices. Reading the ingredients which include cinnamon, ginger, cumin, dried figs and coriander, I was intrigued and determined to make it. I am always on the look out for new, interesting ways to use duck. We live right smack in the middle of ‘duckland’ here in the Gers. When we have guests visiting from the Uk, I think it’s always nice to offer them some duck as it is synonymous with French country living. You can’t go wrong with a breast or a confit for sure, but a duck pie….well that really got me excited! It turned out to be very simple to make; I used ready made puff pastry which certainly helped and why not when it’s such a great product! The recipe says it should feed 4 but I think it could go further as it’s quite filling. Economical too as it only uses one duck breast bulked up with some minced pork. It was surprisingly moist as well. The chopped duck breast meat is marinated first in soy sauce and a little olive oil. And then some breadcrumbs soaked in milk are also added, all resulting in a lovely juicy pie filling. I had been concerned that it might cry out for a little sauce or gravy but in fact, it didn’t need it. The spices and dried figs added a wonderful sweetness and warmth that works so perfectly with duck. I served it simply with some roasted vegetables and it made a delicious and unusual supper that I will most certainly be making again! We had pie left over too which was fabulous cold and would make a great addition to any Summer picnic. A great recipe I guarantee you’ll enjoy. Here’s how you do it: Croustade de Canard – Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 2 sheets of puff pastry 1 large duck breast 200g minced pork 6 tbsp soy sauce 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp cumin 2 shallots, chopped finely 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tbsp olive oil 8 dried figs, quartered 2 slices of bread blitzed into breadcrumbs 50ml milk 2 eggs 1 small bunch of coriander, chopped Remove the fat from the duck breast and chop the meat into little pieces. Marinade the duck in a bowl with the soy sauce, spices, garlic, chopped shallots and olive oil. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, blitz your bread into breadcrumbs and put in a bowl with the milk and leave to soak. Pre-heat your oven to 200C. In a large bowl, add your minced pork to the marinaded duck meat. Add the cut figs, 1 egg, the chopped coriander and the soaked breadcrumbs. Season well and mix it all up. Take a large oven tray and on top of some baking paper, lay one of your sheets of puff pastry. In france they come already round but if yours are rectangular, worry not, just make a rectangular pie! Pour over the duck & pork mix and spread out evenly leaving a 2 cm border all the way round the edge of the pastry. Use the second piece of pastry to cover the pie and just fold over the edges all the way round to seal the filling in. It doesn’t have to be too neat as it will meld together and look pretty when it’s cooked. Gently score a criss cross pattern on the top of the pie if you like. Then beat another egg and brush it all over the top of the pie and over the edges. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Serve and enjoy! I am entering this dish into two blog challenges. Firstly, Herbs on a Saturday created by the lovely Karen over on Lavender & Lovage. Please do check out her blog, It’s really rather good! This months challenge is being hosted by Vanesther over on Bangers & Mash. And for the first time I am entering into Alphabakes – the January challenge is to bake something with the letter ‘D’ so I think my Duck Pie fits the bill! This is co-hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker.