Duck and Cherry Pie

“The Original Gartrile’s recipe”

Made famous in the Jo’burg restaurant Gatrile’s, this pie is the perfect marriage between sharp berries, rich duck, boozy sauce and melting pastry. When the restaurant closed in 2003 it had, according to respective owners Ken Forrester and Michel Moran, sold more than 250,000 pies, using 220 tons of duck and 12 tons of cherries…

(Adapted: Sunday Times Food weekly | 06 November, 2011)



  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 1 cup port
  • 1 x 400g can pitted cherries, drained
  • 1 cup duck or chicken stock
  • 2 The Duck Farm ducks – roasted, meat removed from the bone (use the bones to make stock)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg, beaten, for brushing

Puff Pastry:

  • 250g cake flour
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 3ml cream of tartar
  • 250g butter
  • 60 -100ml iced water

TIP:  If you’re running short on time, why not use ready-made puff pastry, thawed in the fridge?



  1. Sift the flour, salt and cream of tartar into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, or use a food processor.
  2. Mix in enough water to bring the dough together.
  3. Roll out into a rectangle and fold over 3 times. Roll out again, fold again and repeat.
  4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion and garlic until glassy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the duck meat, and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in the duck meat and season.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Pour the filling into 1 large or 4-6 individual pie dishes. Roll out the pastry and cut lids big enough to cover the pies, pressing the edges to seal.
  6. Brush with the egg and bake for about 45 min for a large pie, 25 min for small pies.
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