Perfect pheasant with brandy

One of the delights of autumn is to put pheasant back on the menu. This recipe comes from Julian Temperley, who makes Somerset Cider Brandy (Cal-vados in all but name).

3 pheasants
12 dessert apples
8oz butter
10 fl oz Somerset Cider Brandy
15 fl oz dry farmhouse cider
3 tbsp double cream
Salt and pepper

Brown the birds and apples in 3oz butter, then remove them from the heat and flame them with cider brandy (mind your hair). Pour in the cider and season. Simmer, turning occasionally for 30 minutes. Remove the cooked apples and keep them warm. When the birds are cooked, joint and add them to the apples. Reduce the sauce by three-quarters and add the remaining butter, bit by bit. Add more brandy if desired, then stir in the cream. Serve on a large plate with apples and sauce on the top. Julian may add raisins soaked in apple brandy, and thin-sliced apples cooked in butter.