500 grams cherries, halved and pips removed
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large Portobello mushrooms, about 12 cm across
80 grams butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped sage
250 grams puff pastry
egg wash of 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water
4 duck breasts
porcini or truffle oil – optional
hot, cooked green beans for serving
Cherry Relish: Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan. Simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until the mixture has reduced to a jam-like consistency. Season, cool and refrigerate in a sealed container.
Mushroom Tarts: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel off the outside skin of the mushrooms and place on a baking tray.
Melt the butter and mix in the garlic, thyme and sage. Brush the inside of each mushroom liberally with the garlic butter and season. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove and cool completely.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench and cut out 4 x 11 cm circles. Arrange on a lined baking tray and put a mushroom in the centre of each one. Lightly score a pastry border around the mushroom and brush with egg wash. Refrigerate until required.
To serve: Score the skin on each duck breast in a cross hatch pattern and season both sides. Heat a sauté pan with a little oil over medium heat and cook, skin side down, for 7 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan, cover lightly and rest for 5-10 minutes.
Bake the mushroom tarts for 15 minutes or until they are puffed up and golden. Warm the cherry relish.
Place a mushroom tart on each serving plate. Top with hot, cooked beans. Slice the duck thinly across the grain and lay on top of the tart. Spoon over some of the cherry relish and drizzle with a little porcini or truffle oil if using. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.