1. Rub the inside of the duck with a mixture of salt and pepper. Wash the apples and figs thoroughly and wipe them dry. Peel, quarter, core and thickly slice the apples.
2. Cut the stalks off the figs and dice. Season the apple and figs with the curry powder and salt and pepper and use the mixture to stuff the duck, together with the butter. Using cooking thread, sew up the opening and secure the legs and wings to the body of the duck.
3. Heat the oil in a large roasting tin on the hob and brown the duck all over; this should take about 15 minutes. Then, with the duck standing breast downwards, transfer the tin to the oven and roast in a moderately hot oven (200°C, 400°F, gas 6) for about 40 minutes.
4. Then turn the duck over, pour the hot water into the tin and roast the duck for a further 1 hour, until cooked.
5. Baste the duck repeatedly throughout the roasting time, adding more hot water as and when necessary.
Serve with: braised red cabbage, boiled potatoes, and apple sauce, flavoured with a little white wine and lemon juice.