Caramelised onion and Gruyère tarte fine, salad of crispy duck and watercress

  • 4
  • 5 hours 45 minutes plus 24 hours for marinating the duck
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This recipe from Tony Fleming is a blow-out feast, perfect for a dinner party. Homemade duck confit is served alongside elegant mini tartes fines. The tarts are topped with buttery caramelised onions and gooey Le Gruyère cheese, which pairs beautifully with the sweet onions. The tarte fine is meant to be extremely thin, so don’t worry if it looks flatter than you expected and it doesn’t puff up much in the oven.

First published in 2022




Duck Confit

Tart Base

To Serve


  • Silicone baking mat 2
  • 10cm pastry cutter
  • 9cm round cutter



Marinade the duck with all the confit ingredients apart from the duck fat for 24 hours


The next day, preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark 1


Lightly the marinade off the duck and place the legs in an oven tray


Cover the legs with the duck fat. Cover the tray with tin foil and cook for 3-4 hours. You can tell when the duck is cooked as the bones will slip out of the meat with no resistance at all


While the duck cooks, melt the butter in a pan and add the onions


Cook the onions over a low heat until they brown and caramelise - this can take up to 45 minutes


Once the onions have caramelised, season them with salt and add the chopped sage


Cook for 10 minutes more, and then allow to cool


Leave the cooked duck to cool in its fat for 1 hour. Then, remove all the bones, skin and cartilage. Pick the meat into large chunks, but do not shred it finely


Cool the meat in fridge


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4


Cut the puff pastry bases into four 10cm circles using the pastry cutter, and brush with the egg yolk


Place the pastry circles on a heavy oven tray, lined with a silicone mat. Then, place a second silicone mat on top of the pastry


Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the tray 180 degrees and cook for 7 minutes more


Remove the pastry from the oven, but don’t turn the oven off. Leave the pastry and silicone mats as they are until the pastry cools


While the pastry cools, heat a heavy frying pan over a high heat, and add a splash of vegetable oil

  • vegetable oil

Once the oil is smoking hot, add the cooled chunks of duck meat. Pan fry for 2 minutes, or until a little crispy and golden brown


Drain off any excess oil, return the pan with the duck to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar

  • 25ml of balsamic vinegar

Cook until the vinegar has completely evaporated, and the meat is glazed. Take off the heat


Spoon some onions into the middle of each cooled tart base. Place a 90mm cutter onto the tart and push the onion mix to the edges of the cutter. This should give you an even 5mm thick layer of onions on the pastry, and a 1cm gap around the edge


Place a slice of Gruyère cheese on each tart, and place in the oven for 2 minutes to warm through the tarts and melt the cheese

  • 4 slices of Gruyère, 8cmx8cm, plus extra for grating

Place each tart into the centre of a plate. Arrange the pieces of duck evenly onto the four tarts


Dress the watercress and spring onions with olive oil and Maldon salt and pile onto the centre of each tart


To finish, microplane over a good amount of Gruyère onto the watercress and serve

Tony Fleming built a reputation off sophisticated fish and seafood dishes at Angler, but now he's showing the full extent of his armoury at legendary restaurant Le Pont de La Tour, where he cooks classical, comforting food to the highest standards.

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