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    Duck, Chestnut and Apple Pie

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    Duck, Chestnut and Apple Pie

    The rich duck is beautifully offset by the sweet chestnuts and tart apples.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes (more if using fresh chestnuts)
    • Cooking time: 60 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes 60 minutes 20 minutes

    Serves: 4 - 6

    Ingredients

    • 200g fresh or vacuum-packed chestnuts
    • 500g shortcrust pastry, chilled
    • 2 free range duck breasts (about 600g), trimmed of excess fat
    • 200g Bramley apples
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
    • 4-5 sage leaves, shredded
    • pinch ground allspice
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 medium egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp cold water

    Method

    1. If you're using fresh chestnuts, make a circular incision around each of them with a sharp knife, then add to a pan of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and peel off the skins while the chestnuts are still hot (you might want to wear gloves).
    2. If you're using vacuum-packed chestnuts, skip this step.
    3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
    4. On a floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line a 26cm pie dish. Trim, and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, roughly chop the duck meat and crumble the chestnuts. Peel and slice the apples. Spread the duck in the chilled pastry case, then sprinkle over the chestnuts. Add the herbs, allspice and salt and pepper and lay over the apple slices. Brush some of the egg around the edge of the pastry.
    6. Roll out the remaining pastry and put on top of the pie. Press to seal the edges, and trim any excess. Brush with egg and make a small slash in the middle with a knife. Insert a rolled piece of foil to make a "chimney".
    7. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 40 minutes, covering with foil if it looks like burning. Serve warm with seasonal vegetables.

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