• 2 onion, cut into thick slices
  • 3 carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1, approximately 2kg duck
  • 100g lavender honey


  • 100g spinach
  • 2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 150g ricotta, well drained
  • 50g ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 1 egg
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 2 sprigs marjoram or oregano, picked


  • STEP 1

    To make the dumplings, finely chop the spinach, and combine in a mixing bowl with the potato, 100g of the ricotta, the apricots, half the pine nuts, the egg and flour, and season really well with salt and pepper.

  • STEP 2

    Roll the mixture into sausages on a floured surface to approx 2cm thick. Cut each one into pillows at 3cm intervals. Put them on a tray lined with baking paper and chill until you need them.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the vegetables, garlic and thyme into a roasting tin. Season the duck all over and sit it on top. Put in the oven and cook for about 2 hours.

  • STEP 4

    Take the duck out of the oven, and drizzle half the honey over the skin. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then drizzle over the rest of the honey and return for 5 minutes more.Take out and transfer to a cooling rack or plate to rest.

  • STEP 5

    Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the dumplings and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they float to the top. Pour the cream into a separate pan, season well and bring to the boil. Drain the dumplings thoroughly and add to the hot cream. Turn them in the cream and add the parmesan. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and transfer them to a bowl, sprinkling over the rest of the ricotta and pine nuts and the marjoram leaves to garnish, and finishing with a good twist of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the carved duck and some buttered greens.


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