These are a great little pass-around pie. The pastry is not flaky, so they aren't crumbly and fragile to eat. The duck works really well with this combination of fragrant spices, almonds and prunes.

Makes 30-40 Empanadas.


Step 1: Roasted Duck

Pre heat your oven to 130 degrees.

Place your duck in a suitable sized roasting dish. Rub the five spice over the duck, along with the sea salt and fresh black pepper. Pour in the chicken stock, then cover with tin foil and place in the oven. Roast for 2 hours, then remove the foil and turn the oven up to 180 degrees. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes to golden up the skin.

Remove from the oven, cool, then pick all of the meat from the carcass. Rough chop quite fine and refrigerate until required.


Step 2: Duck and Prune Empanada Filling

Heat a large sauce pan to medium heat. Add the oil, followed by the onion, celery, capsicum, garlic, ginger and pinch of chilli flakes. Once hot, turn down the heat and sweat the vegetables for 20 minutes. Now add the ground cumin, cinnamon and clove. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, then add the chicken stock, demi-glaze, picked duck meat and prunes. Cook out until most of the stock has been reduced, but the mix is still moist. Lastly, fold in the almond flakes, taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cool before refrigerating until completely cold.


Step 3: Empanada Pastry

In a suitable sized bowl, add the flour, salt and butter. Rub together with your hands until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Beat together the egg with the water and vinegar. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Turn out onto a floured bench and knead just a few times - enough to bring the dough together. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.


Step 4: Cooking and Serving

Pre heat your oven to 160 degrees.

On a floured surface roll out the pastry to about 1.5 - 2 mm thick. From this, cut 6-8 cm rounds from the pastry.

Lay the pastry circles out on a clean surface. Place spoonfuls of the duck and prune mix onto the pastry rounds (be careful not to over-fill). With a pastry brush, lightly brush a small amount of egg white around the edge of each round. Fold each round over to make a parcel and crimp the edges together with a fork.

Place the finished empanadas on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and cook for 20 to 30minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving on a platter. Accomapany with natural yoghurt and a fruit chutney, if you like.


Photography by Kieran Scott