March 2004
Roast breast of Gressingham duck with plum & apple tarte tatin
by Herbert Berger

Herbert Berger an executive chef with a wide knowledge and experience of fine international cuisine and catering. He strongly believes in borrowing freely from each school of culinary thought and cultures. He has received many accolades and awards for his excellent talent, been the subject of many reviews, media appearances, and gained the coveted Michelin Star for three of his establishments. 

He is very commercially orientated with an excellent record in achieving budgets, targets and objectives.

Herbert Berger is an active member of the Academie Culinaire de France, U.K. and works closely with schools and professional bodies to promote and educate young chefs.

Ingredients serve 4
2x 1.9 kg gressingham duck
2 x apples (300g)
4x plums (400g)
100g puff pastry to be rolled out to 4mm
225g spinach before wilting
60g un-salted butter
2tbsp of honey
30g shallots chopped
750ml game stock
250ml port
Malden sea salt& pepper for seasoning
4x 3" tartlet tin

To make tatin first roll out the pastry and put in the fridge.
Peel the apple then slice the apple & plums in half remove the stone & core then slice into semi circles of 2mm thick.
Place a thin slice of butter & ½ tbsp honey on the bottom of the tartlet case and then arrange the plum overlapping to form a circler fan then in the opposite direction with the apple then place the rolled out puff pastry on top & cut the pastry to the same size as the case place in the fridge until you need to cook.
First joint the duck by removing the breast & legs keep the legs for another dish & use the carcases for the game stock.
Trim the fat around the breast up to the meat & score the fat on the skin in a chris cross season with meat.
Wash spinach for wilting.

Cooking the dish
To make the sauce sweat the shallots with 10g butter add the port and reduce by half then add the game stock and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon keep warm until serving.

Place the tatin in the oven at 200°c for 15 min's or the pastry is golden brown. While the tatin is in the oven start to cook the duck.

Heat a heavy frying pan on a medium to high heat and place the breast skin side down to render the fat and make the skin crispy about 9mins then turn the breast over and cook to your liking med about 6mins take out of the pan and keep warm with the spinach in a pot with a touch of the duck fat rendered from the breast and season.

Place the spinach at the top of the plate in a small mound then place the tatin on top of spinach with the plum side showing.
Slice the duck into 7 slices and arrange under the tatin in a fan then finish by spooning the sauce over the duck.

Meli Melo
150 g sugar
300 g water
85 g hazelnuts
85 g almonds
85 g pine nuts
85 g walnuts
85 g pistachios
60 g dried apricots
60 g raisins
5 apples
5 pears

Cinnamon ice cream
375 g milk
375 g cream
150 g sugar
10 g cinnamon
8 yolks

Vanilla tuile
100 g sugar
50 g butter
100 g egg whites
40 g honey
100 g flour


Meli melo
Roast nuts in oven & soak in stock syrup for 10 minutes.
Add fruit to soak.
Parisienne apples & pears and cook it in the stock syrup. Then reduce syrup to caramel.

Cinnamon ice cream
Boil the milk, cream, cinnamon and sugar together.
Add to the egg yolks.
Strain through a sieve and allow to cool before churning.

If you do not have an ice cream churner put the ice cream mix into the freezer. Once it starts to freeze take it out and whisk it until all the ice crystals have dissolved. Return to the freezer. This process needs to be repeated 3-4 times.

Vanilla tuile
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the egg whites and whisk.
Add the honey and then the flour.
Using non-stick baking sheets evenly spread about a teaspoon of the tuile mix in a circular motion to about 12 cm in diameter. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden in colour.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.



Shane Osborn