The fourth spice dish was a Moroccan/Middle Eastern based dish called Bastilla Pastilla, a filo pastry delight filled with duck confit, dried apricots and a mix of sweet and savoury spices. It was a challenging dish to partner due to that combination of sweet and savoury, in fact I confess to omitting the sprinkling of icing sugar at the end as I felt that would be a step too far for the wine!

So here is my adaptation of a Bastilla Pastilla, and whilst it might not be 100% authentic it was 100% enjoyed!!

Makes approximately 55 small ( 2 bite-sized) parcels


  • 450g duck confit
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced finely
  • large pinch of saffron
  • 2 packs of filo pastry ( I used 2/3rds of the second pack)
  • 3 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g dried apricots roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps, plus 150 – 200g butter melted
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • zest and juice of a large lemon
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • large pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 – 3 tbsp sumac
  • 2 handfuls each of fresh chopped parsley and coriander
  • sesame seeds


Put the onions, garlic, saffron, apricots, ginger, chilli, saffron, sugar, 2 tbsp of butter, vinegar and seasoning in a pan with a lid, cook on a gentle heat for 15 minutes until softened. Stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Once cool transfer into a large mixing bowl with the flaked duck confit, lemon zest and juice, eggs and 1 handful of fresh herbs. Mix really well to ensure everything is thoroughly combined.

Prepare your work surface for the filo pastry. Dampen two clean tea towels, use one to work on and the other to wrap the rest of the filo pastry that you are not currently using. Prepare two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper ready to reception the Bastilla Pastilla. Have a sharp knife to hand, the melted butter and a pastry brush. The sumac and fresh herbs ready to sprinkle.

Carefully take a sheet of filo pastry and lay onto your dampened work towel, ensure that you wrap the rest of the filo immediately in the other damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Brush the sheet with butter and sprinkle over some sumac and the herbs, cover with another sheet of filo, pressing down so that they stick together, you may need to brush some extra butter on to ensure a good seal. Using a sharp knife cut the sheets into four lengths. Place a heaped teaspoon of duck mixture onto the top righthand corner, and fold into triangles brushing lightly with melted butter as you go. Finish up with a light brush of butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds, place on the baking tray. Continue until you have used up all of the mixture. Depending on the size of the triangles that you make, you should make between 50 and 60 Bastilla.

Pop into a preheated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes, check after 15, they should be a golden brown. Serve warm, sprinkled with sumac and fresh herbs. These can be frozen and reheated in a hot oven to crisp up.

Wine match:

The combination of rich duck, sweet and hot spices calls for a red wine with good fruit, acidity and a herby punch. I chose a wine from Domaine de la Rectorie in the Roussillon, L’Orientale. A grenache based wine that has beautiful soft fruit, crunchy acidity and a herbal finish. The combination was very flattering and after the fiery heat of the Jerk, the rich sweetness of the Bastilla and the wine was very welcome!

Duck-Bastilla-Pastilla collage

Photos courtesy of photo O. Bac – l’Atelier des Vignerons