This is a good dish for an autumn dinner party when there is a glut of red plums. Butchers and supermarkets now sell duck joints; otherwise ask for 2 small to medium ducks to be cut in quarters.
Put the orange juice, water and mace into a large, heavy-based saucepan, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Put in the joints of duck, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the duck and pat dry with absorbent paper. Strain the liquid into another saucepan and keep on one side.
Pour off any excess fat from the roasting pan and pour the remaining juices into the saucepan containing the reserved cooking liquid. Boil up fiercely for about 8 minutes, until reduced and thickened, then stir in the cream and bring up to the boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the kirsch, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into a sauce boat. Garnish the duck with lemon slices and serve with the sauce.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.