This recipe is a good example of the need to sometimes pare back overassertive flavours. Umeboshi has a wonderful flavour but it is intensely salty and sour. The umeboshi purée is tempered by soaking the heavily salted and fermented ume overnight in water and gently cooking in verjuice and fermented plum extract. If I were to use the umeboshi without this process it would completely dominate the flavour of the duck. This way the flavours are strong but in balance with each other.
Remove the skin from the reserved duck breasts. Put the breasts and reduced glaze into a cryovac bag, seal and place in a water circulator at 55°C (130°F) for 10 minutes or until the duck breasts are warmed through.
Remove the duck from the bag and cut each breast in half on the diagonal to make 8 portions. Place the breast portions on a baking tray lined with silicone paper, spoon over the remaining glaze from the bag and flash in a 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) oven for 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, gently heat the umeboshi purée in a small saucepan. Remove the almonds from the milk and warm in a small saucepan with the butter and season with sea salt.
Place a portion of hot duck breast on the purée. Garnish with fried amaranth leaves and spring almonds. Serve.
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