Man Food: How To Cook With Cider

Apples are ubiquitous but that doesn’t mean cooking with them needs to be boring. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a lot more to this delicious fruit than pies and crumbles. With the game season fast approaching, it’s worth remembering that they marry particularly well with rich-tasting birds such as partridge, pheasant and wild duck.

Every autumn, the celebrated Somerset cider and cider brandy producer Julian Temperley marks this king among fruit with Apple Day at his Burrow Hill farm (on 22 October this year). A popular tipple once more, cider is increasingly finding favour as a great match with the right dishes.

Try switching wine for good cider with your dinner – you won’t be disappointed. 

Serves 4

Roast duck served with apples and flaming cider brandy makes for a stunning and showy centrepiece to a meal. The Somerset Cider Brandy Company produces various vintages, including the 15-year-old Somerset Alchemy.


- Salt and freshly ground
- Black pepper
- 2 good-quality (or wild) oven-ready ducks, about 1.5kg each
- 2–3 apples, core removed, each cut into 6 wedges
- 100ml Somerset Cider Brandy (3 or 5 years old)


1 | Preheat the oven to 220oC/ gas mark 7. Heat a roasting tray in the oven for 10 mins.
2 | Season the ducks. Place in the tray with the breasts down and roast for 30 mins, draining off any fat as they are cooking (you can keep this for your potatoes).
3 | Turn the oven down to 200oC/gas mark 6 and cook the duck for another 30 mins. Add the apples after 45 mins and baste the duck and apples as they are cooking.
4 | Insert a skewer into a leg joint and when the juices run clear the ducks are cooked: if not, return to the oven for another 15 mins or so. To serve, drain off any excess fat and transfer the duck and apples to an oven-proof table dish. Return to the oven for 10mins, or heat on the stove top.
5 | Heat the cider brandy in a small saucepan, take it to the table with the duck, set light to the alcohol with amatchandthenpourover the duck. Leave the flames to settle, then joint and carve the duck. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What do you think?

Bangers mash Manna
London's Best Vegetarian Restaurants
From pad thai at Notting Hill's best raw restaurant to vegetarian sushi in Kings Cross​
food floor
Food & Drink
Science Is Here To Ruin The 'Five Second Rule' For Everyone
​Shut up science, and let us eat our pavement ice cream in peace​
Food & Drink
The Secret Guide To Lunch In Soho
Do lunch properly with our pick of the best lunch restaurants in the heart of the capital​
Coffee barista
Food & Drink
​A Barista Explains Your Morning Coffee
​What exactly is a flat white? And should you only drink espressos in the afternoon? All the complexities of caffeine culture answered...
scrambled eggs
Food & Drink
The Number One Secret To Amazing Scrambled Eggs
No, it's not the flick of that wrist
Richard Turner, cooking on a Drumbecue at Meatopia
Food & Drink
The Ultimate Guide To Grilling Meat
How to conquer the raw flames, from a guy who knows​
Radio Rooftop at ME London
Food & Drink
Where To Eat & Drink In London This Week: Rooftop Raves, Champagne Terraces & Mediterranean Sharing Plates
​We've got you covered​
Colonel Sanders
Food & Drink
Colonel Sanders' Nephew Just Revealed KFC's Top Secret 11 Herbs & Spices
A delicious legend​​
Gintern 2
Food & Drink
Company Lists Vacancy For a "Gintern": A Real Job Getting Paid To Drink Gin
Ginspiring stuff​
London Wine Week 2016
Food & Drink
Win £5,000 Worth Of Wine
From Berry Bros. & Rudd, by filling in a simple survey