Duck burger & cherry clafoutis


It’s officially the summer holidays in Médoc.  We’ve been longing for hot sunny days, sun-kissed hues and al fresco meals everyday.  The feeling is free and easy,  I am happily compiling the recipes for my book, writing away under my favourite trees.  My office is very simple. I usually place a table under a tree, where the gentle breeze makes me feel cool and inspired.  My laptop, a cool drink and a few dogs by my side.


My adorable step-kids Gunnhildur and Thorir arrived last week from Iceland for the summer vacations.   The ‘little ‘ kids have been counting the days forever and it’s such a joy to have the whole family reunited.


On their first day, Gunnhildur requested a little tour around Pauillac and the vineyards, while Thorir and the others decided to have a fun pool day.  We took part of the gang on a lovely drive, zig-zagging through the jade green vineyards and stopping by for ice-cream.  We saw the most amazing flower fields near St Estèphe, and couldn’t resist picking a few flowers, as well as taking some photos of course.  It really was a field of dreams, seeing Louise through the flowers with Jean Genie (our smooth fox-terrier) was a bit of a technicolor vision, like one of those fantastic Japanese animated movies about the spirit of the flowers.  Simply breathtaking.


On our way home, I bought some duck magret filet and decided to make duck hamburgers, another family favourite.  We brought home some sarment de vignes (vine shoot of the grape vine) for the barbecue. In the winter months, the vines are pruned and the branches are cut off.  They are then dried and used for barbecues. I just love the smell and that smoky vine-like taste you get from this type of grilling.  It’s called a barbecue à la Bordelaise!




For the duck magret, it’s best to mince the meat ‘au couteau’ (with a knife) – all you have to do is slice the meat finely, then dice and mince.  You keep all the juicy flavours preparing the meat this way.  Then I just add salt, pepper, shallots, parsley and mustard et voilà, you have a very gourmand burger.  I also make my own burger buns and fries – it’s all these little extra touches that make a fabulous meal.  I recently discovered an amazing flour made by Elodie Aubert, the daughter of farmers Pierre and Marie-Noëlle, producing organic vegetables in St Vivien de Médoc.  Elodie bakes high-quality bread, and makes her own organic flour which is of exceptional quality.  I have to admit, it’s the best I have ever used.  She sells her bread and flour at the local markets in Médoc.  So now I make my hamburger buns with her flour, and they are a real hit at home.  Once you make these, it will be hard to buy the ones at the store.



We had a wonderful dinner al fresco,  all dressed up, candlelight, flowers and lovely duck burgers & fries.  We couldn’t really ask for more…  perhaps an extra slice of cherry clafoutis?  Oh how I love summer nights…

For a bit of dog passion (and fashion), check out Oddur’s piece here.

Our dinner was ‘gram of the week’ on Food 52!


Duck burger patties (for 8 patties)

4 duck filets (magret de canard), trimmed, sliced finely then minced with a sharp knife.
4 tbsp parsley, chopped finely
1 tbsp mustard
2 small shallots, finely chopped
8 slices of cheese, Ossau Iraty (or any of your choice) – optional
Salt & black pepper, for seasoning

Trim the fat on the duck filets, leaving a little for extra flavour.  Slice finely, then dice into small cubes.  Mince the meat finely.
Mix all the ingredients together (except the cheese) and shape into small palm-sized patties.  Place in the refridgerator to keep them cool.
Season patties. Prepare a medium-hot sarment (vine shoots, or alternatively, charcoal) fire (if you don’t want to grill, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a large frying pan).
Grill patties, flipping once, for a few minutes on each side, depending on the ‘cuisson’.
Optional – if you want a cheeseburger: Place on top of each burger a slice of cheese Ossau Iraty for me) during the last 2 minutes of cooking.  You can also try to cover with a disposable aluminum pan to melt.
Serve burgers on buns with lettuce, red onion slices and tomato.

Little tip:  I love mixing ketchup, mayonnaise, finely sliced pickles and capers  – it’s my favourite cocktail sauce for any burgers.

Hamburger buns (makes about 16-18 buns)

1 kg/ 8 & 1/3 cups organic flour, T80 type (farine blé bise)
25 g/ 5 tsp fresh yeast (I use hirondelle fresh yeast, sold in speciality stores or at the bakery)
15 g/ 3 tsp salt
350 ml/ 1 & ½ cup  lukewarm water
2 eggs
160 ml/ 2/3 cup milk, lukewarm
50 g/ ¼ cup granulated sugar
60 g/ ¼ cup plain butter, softened
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp water, to brush the buns
A handful of sesame seeds, optional

In  a very large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar.
Crumble fresh yeast into dry mixture (alternatively, you can mix the fresh yeast with the milk/water and wait a few minutes until frothy, but I prefer crumbling it in the mixture).
Mix ingredients and slowly add the water, milk, eggs and butter.  Start kneading until you get a soft dough.   I prefer kneading by hand, for about 10-12 minutes.
Shape into a ball.  Grease the bowl with a little bit of vegetable oil and place dough in bowl.  Cover with cling film or a humid kitchen towel.  Leave to rise for 1 and a half to 2 hours in a warm environment.
Shape into individual balls and place on a parchment paper lined oven tray, leaving at least 5 cm space between each ball. Cover with kitchen towel and leave to rise for an hour. Brush each buns with the eggwash and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).

Bake for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated oven 200°C/ 390 F, or until buns are golden and puffy.


Cherry clafoutis

What I love about this recipe is the salted butter aftertaste that go so well with the cherries.  The most simple cake to make!

500 g/ 1 pound cherries
4 eggs
50 g/ 3 & 1/2 tbsp  salted butter, melted and extra for lining the cake pan (you can use plain butter if you prefer)
200 ml/ 0.8 cup full milk
100 g/ ¾ cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
60 g/ 1/3 cup plain sugar
1 packet of vanilla sugar (7.5 g/ 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tbsp orange blossom water
Icing sugar, for dusting
A pinch of salt

Preheat oven 200°C/ 400 F

Butter (generously) a cake pan.
Rinse cherries and pat them dry.  I leave the stones but you can remove them if you prefer)
Place them in the bottom of the cake pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and vanilla sugar.  Add milk and eggs (one by one), whisking gently.  Add orange blossom water and butter, mix until you get a smooth batter.
Pour batter on top of cherries.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C/ 400 F, then lower heat to 180°C/ 350 F and cook for a further 30 minutes.  Leave to cool and set (the clafoutis will be all puffed up and set evenly).
Sprinkle icing sugar and serve immediately.

110 thoughts on “Duck burger & cherry clafoutis

  1. Hi Mimi, it looks like the start of a fantastic summer holiday for you. I’m in my British home for a few months and it’s wonderfully hot here. Can’t remember a lovelier summer. Yesterday I gathered some elder flowers and made those fritters my grandmother used to make; they were delicious. I’ll post about them tomorrow. My grandmother used to make cherry clafoutis as well, but in Czech she called it “bublanina” roughly translated as bubbly-ness. We all loved it. 🙂 Happy pool days and happy writing. Hope you have a lovely rest of the week with all the children.

  2. Ohhhh, how I needed this little slice of Medoc at this very moment…pure escapism. Mimi, I *cannot wait* for your book! The burgers, buns, and clafloutis all look and sound absolutely like ambrosia. And, I adore the look on your daughter’s face when jumping into the pool! As always, thank you for sharing with us. xx

    1. Hi Imen, I was thinking of you the other night (and obviously recommended your blog) to new friends we met on the beach a few days ago! They are from northern Ireland and talked about Irish food all night – I can’t wait to taste a few dishes 🙂 Sounds like you are also writing a book, no? I can’t wait for that 🙂 Happy summer IMEN! Mimix

  3. What a gorgeous meal! I often order duck burgers when I’m out, but I’ve never tempted them at home. I guess I always assumed that I would have to find duck meat that was already minced, but ‘au couteau’ is brilliant! Now I’ll certainly make them at home.

    Happy summer!

    1. Hi Sasha, So now you can try this at home – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to mince meat au couteau. It’s the best way to do it! Enjoy this meal and happy summer! Thanks, Mimix

  4. I love this method of using grape vine shoot to add another element to the burgers and mincing the duck meat with a knife, If only it was summer here in Australia I would make these burgers for my family and dine al fresco. As usual, lovely post Mimi and always enjoying your instagram shots 🙂 Kind regard.

  5. Dear Mimi,
    You are writing a book?!! Finally, your lovely blog, the beautiful photos and delicible recipes are already beststellers in their own right. Please tell me, when is your book going to be published. It’s definitely on my wishlist!

    Summer has finally also arrived in Amsterdam. Although it’s a far cry from the Medoc countryside, the vibe in the city is great…

    Have a lovely summer!

  6. Bonjour Mimi!

    Summer in Medoc seems like a wonderful dream! The food, children, fields of flowers, and pool all are charming. Also you’re husband’s article about dog breeds and style brought a smile to my face, I have two dachshunds with that exact personality. Thank you both for sharing!

  7. Last summer I rented a house in Provence. There was a journal for visitors to write recommendations in. One of them was to make cherry clafoutis. I thought at the time “I wish I knew how!” Now I have a starting point. Thank you!

    1. Bonjour Liza! I am so glad to hear this! Now you can make a nice cherry clafoutis – it’s pure summer comfort food, like a twist between a flan and a cake, slightly chewy. You can also make this recipe with apricots, mirabelles, plums… Enjoy! Bonne vacances! Mimix

  8. Gorgeous beautiful photos of you and your family, Love! Wow I’ve never tried duck burgers and would love to. Thank you for always inspiring us with your beautiful posts. So looking forward for your book Mimi!
    Best wishes xoxo

  9. Mimi, you have done it again with le canard!! This gourmand duck burger looks so fabuleux, I feel the need to try this beautiful recipe by the end of the week. And I love that you included a cherry clafoutis, this is definitely my favourite Summer dessert (et avec les noyaux bien sûr!). Beautiful article and photography as usual! Thank you for such lovely things to read about and see.

      1. Hi Mimi! So, I tried your fabulous duck burgers over the weekend and they were really wonderful. I even invited a fellow French gourmande blogger and her fiancé so we could all partake in savouring delicious food. Merci pour la recette et bonne semaine! x

  10. Mimi – Your blog is so captivating, and it brings back some of my fondest memories of my time living in Perigueux. Thank you for your beautiful posts and recipes. Enjoy France for me!

  11. This look so lovely — photos and food. Just wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying every post since your friend Stephane introduced his followers to you. If you had a like button I would hit it every time but I’m not big on commenting so you won’t often hear from me. But I’ll be here, liking them all.

  12. Hi Mimi,
    I discovered your blog only a few days ago (I know, where have I been?? Sailing actually, so it’s hard to keep up with what happens in the blogosphere!). Anyway, I have fallen totally in love with it: your writing, the recipes, your husband’s photos…Everything about it spells STYLE! And simplicity, yumminess, gorgeousness…
    Anyway, this last post reminds me of a meal I had in La Rochelle a couple of years ago where I was served the house Hambur-Gers, which was a duck burger, topped with caramelized onions, slice of fresh foie gras, and a brioche bun. My kids have asked for me to replicate the simple version ( ie no foie gras, no onions), but not having a recipe, it’s been in the “too hard” basket for a long time. Not any more!!! Thanks to you, I will be able to surprise them…
    Looking forward to read more of your beautiful stories.

    1. Hello! I am so happy to hear you just discovered my blog – it’s a pleasure to greet you! I have to say, your burger sounds so delicious! Thank you for all your kind words. Wishing you a lovely summer filled with delicious duck burgers! Mimix

  13. Mimi, vos hamburgers ont l’air délicieux et il faut que j’en fasse! Vous êtes si jolie Madame, et votre famille aussi. Les chiens….il se sont regalés sous la table, bien sûr! Anita

  14. What a lovely post, Mimi. A reminder that no matter where we are, the best place to be is with all the family gathered together around the dinner table. Thank you for sharing such a special family evening. And the meal is amazing! I am looking forward to your book coming out.

  15. Gorgeous blog! I have to admit that it will sound silly, but your cheekbones look Slavic – obviously you are not ;-). Anyway you are beautiful and so are your receips! Can’t wait to try them!

    1. Hi Valerie! Actually, my grandfather (on my mother’s side) was Polish 🙂 So you see, you were right! Thanks so much for saying hi! Enjoy the recipes. Happy summer, Mimix

  16. What beautiful flowers! Ahh, I love long, leisurely summer evenings around the table – looking forward to our hols, too.

  17. The duck burger looks sensational. I adore your photos. There is so much poetry and so much emotion in all the pictures. Thank you for opening up a small window from where we can revel in the beauty of your everyday life! And really look forward to your book which will be amazing! x

    1. Oh thank you so much – the duck burger is a real delight and I hope you will try the recipe 🙂 So happy to share a glimpse of our daily lives here inMédoc with you – always grateful for your kind words! Merci! Happy summer, Mimix

  18. I love how you tell us some of the moments of your life. These stories are so natural, your family and the people where you live, who do everything doubly interesting. The pictures and the recipes are awesome. This Saturday some friends invite us to make a summer meal, he planned to lead a lemon tart cherry cafloutis but has made me change my mind.
    Thank you for everything you share, enjoy long summer!

    1. Oh thank YOU Yasmina! I hope you will enjoy the cherry clafoutis – it’s a wonderful dessert! Happy summer! Mimix ps: I love your name, it’s so pretty 🙂

      1. Thanks Mimi!
        We all loved your cherry clafoutis, is ideal. A rich dessert, without excess sugar and the exquisite touch of orange blossom water.
        A hug and happy summer to you and your family!

    1. Hello! Yes, that’s true, we love white dresses! I have a confession – I love doing laundry. White clothes are the easiest for me, as all stains always go away. My best tips are lemon juice, and the sun. As soon as there’s a stain, I dab some lemon juice before washing – it’s a natural stain remover and works wonder on berry stains. Have you tried leaving out stained clothes in the sun? It’s the best stain remover 🙂 Happy summer, Mimix ps: Avoid dark colours in the sun they will fade Mimix

  19. Hello Mimi!

    You have a beautiful blog and the recipes are just wonderful. I just learned your roots are in Poland. So I want to ask you if you know any good recipe to a cherry sauce. I have once eaten delicious cherry sauce with basmati rice in Poland. It was twenty years ago and I can still remember the wonderful lunch I had.
    In fact I tried to cook it today but of course the taste was not the same.

  20. You’ve captured everything I love about summer in this pretty post, Mimi. Family, flowers, grilling, stone fruit and dining al fresco. Thanks for sharing with us. Inspiring as always.

  21. What a breathtaking post and beautiful meal. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here, but I always look forward to your posts and savor each one. And so happy to hear you are working on a book!

  22. Living overseas in Australia these pictures make me homesick big time!

    That photo of your daughter hiding in the flower field is breathtakingly beautiful.
    I can smell the flowers and hear the bees buzzing…

    Just wonderful.

  23. Such a beautiful post! That is exactly what summer vacation is about, a relaxed pace in life, enjoying the details and beauty of the season and being with close ones.

  24. Querida Mimi,adoro tu blog, es tan especial,transmite tanta alegria de vivir.Gracias por compartir detalles de tu vida diaria, es tan deliciosa… Eres maravillosa ,estoy deseando tener tu libro de cocina ¿habra edicion en castellano? Feliz verano.

  25. Dear Mimi,

    thank you again for these new and amazing recipes and pictures. Would you please tell me at what temperature you bake the hamburger buns? Have a lovely summer!

    1. Hello! Oh I know, I missed out on the temp and only noticed today – yaiks! I bake them at 200°c/ 390 F for about 15 minutes. Just made some last night – I love them so much! Happy summer! Mimix

  26. Bonjour, Mimi! Je suis de l’Ukraine. Mais j’adore la France, et ayant vu votre blog, je suis tombée amoureux de provinces français, de vos recettes, de Médoc, de vos photos, de cette atmosphère. J’adore cuisiner et je viens de créer mon blog où je montre parfois mes recettes, je vais me perfectionner, et essayer préparer le manger de Mimi Thorisson bien sûr. Je veux écrire en français au moins en temps de temps pour pratiquer la langue. Merci pour cet gout de la vie en tous les détails que vous montrez!

  27. Mimi I have just finished the most beautiful little book called The Summer Book by Finland’s Tove Jansson. From the middle of winter in Australia and the promise of snow tomorrow, your pictures were a lovely finale to this gentle tale. Enjoy those summer evenings. And if you’re not aware of them already keep an eye out for Jansson’s children’s books – your littlies might like them – especially Moominsummer Madness. x

  28. Your blog is just the most beautiful thing! You are living life at a higher level. Keep it up! I just love how you do everything so excellently, from shopping to laundry.

  29. Dear Mimi, I have been looking at your blog and I love your photos and of course your recipes. This clafoutis looked so apealing that yesterday I made it, it is so pretty and what a taste. Loved it. Enjoy your summer.

    1. So happy to hear you liked the clafoutis! It’s a beautiful, and simple recipe – one I treasure 🙂 I made it the other night with leftover apricots as well as a few cherries – it was so delicious! Happy summer, Mimix

      1. Thank you, you even reply to almost everyone that makes a comment, that’s really nice. I did think that other fruits should be a good option, event different kind of berries. Now if you allow I have a question regarding the hamburger buns, if I use the dry yeast do you think a pack (usually 7gr.) is enough for 1kg of flour? One day I will try, now the duck burgers not sure, where I live, Amsterdam, it is not very common to find duck but I can always try. Take care.

  30. Ante todo quiero felicitarte por tu blog es encantador.
    Las fotos bellisimas y trasmiten la alegria del verano.
    Aqui ,en Argentina,estamos disfrutando del invierno.
    Un saludo enorme.

  31. hi Mimi. you have such a generous spirit, which comes through the recipes, tips & happy faces. I enjoy reading your posts, you certainly are living la dolce vita. Best wishes from a cold & windy Capetown.

  32. First, let me congratulate you on your blog is lovely.
    The photos Bellisimas and transmit the joy of summer.
    Here in Argentina, we are enjoying the winter.
    A huge greeting.

  33. A book? That’s amazing! I can’t wait, Mimi.
    Thank you once more for the lovely recipes, I don;t think I’ve ever heard of a duck burger before, I will have to try it. And I agree, homemade burger buns are nothing like the store-bought ones. I’ll have to try that recipe too 🙂

  34. I’ve just discovered your amazing blog! It’s so beautifully written and the photos are breathtaking!
    Thank you for the visual inspiration 🙂

  35. Your photos inspired me to pick up a bunch of cornflowers, one of my favourite flowers. They are a deep burgundy colour, the blooms look like so many splotches of spilled wine, a few more every day – glorious!

  36. Mimi,
    My favorite blog and now news of a cookbook. I hope that there will be enough pages for all the photos and the recipes.
    Love the dogs, I sadly lost my last JR Terrier (she was 18 !) last summer and have slowly been opening my heart to make room for another.
    Can you tell me if the wild duck breasts that my husband fills the freezer with in the fall will work for this recipe ? They are so lean. Do I need to use something to bind them ?
    Best regards,
    ps do you ever share breeder info for the dogs ?

    1. Bonjour Patricia!
      What a lovely comment to start the day! Thank you for your kindness and encouragement – we are so excited preparing this book! Sad to hear about your loss, your JRT had a very long life. I can understand it takes time to heal before opening up to another dog – but when that day comes, I am sure you will be filled with joy 🙂 I think that your husband’s wild duck breasts sound delicious. The ones I use are very large and on the fatty side (I keep some of the fat so it melts in the burger), and I only add a tbsp of mustard and shallots to bind them. If yours are on the lean side, I would suggest adding one egg to the rest of the ingredients while binding them. Have a lovely day! Mimi x ps: Regarding dog/ breeder info, if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them.

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  38. Oh, what I would give to get my hands on some of Elodie’s flour! I bake our bread and am determined to master baguettes. Sadly, I have a gluten intolerance, so bread doesn’t like me as much as I like it. I do find, however, when we travel to France I have no problem with it and have known others to say the same. I will definitely be trying your burger buns (with duck patties to fill them!). The weather is perfect in Austin right now for al fresco dining!

  39. Hi Mimi! I have just stumbled upon your beautiful blog!We travelled thru Provence 2 years ago and I think I left my heart there! My husband and I talk about living the life you have there quite often! We live in SA in a little sea village. But now I can “live” France…thru your blog!… Thank you so much for the recipes, beautiful photos and stories! stay happy!!

  40. Hello Mimi, I’ve made the cherry clafoutis twice now… Curiously, the egg size isn’t published on your recipe. What size do you recommend? Thank you.

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