“Two” Salmon Plait
Perfect for sharing, hot or cold – this is SO tasty. Choose fresh, previously unfrozen salmon if your plan is to freeze the plait. Can be made a day ahead and baked from chilled or frozen after egg washing and baked from frozen.
Start by preparing the salmon fillet. Dry on kitchen paper then trim to make an even oblong shape reserving the offcuts. Season both sides with salt and pepper then cover the top side of the fillet with the finely chopped dill. Set aside.
On a lightly floured board roll out the puff pastry to an oblong measuring roughly 28cm x 38cm. Neaten the edges with a pizza cutter then transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
With the pastry piece in front of you (portrait style) score two lines so that the pastry is divided into thirds but don’t cut all the way through.
Lay two slices of smoked salmon side by side down the centre panel of the plait allowing a 3 cm margin top and bottom – then lay the dill coated salmon fillet on top. Use any salmon offcuts to pack side by side at the base of the plait maintaining an oblong shape.
Mix together the soft cheese, lime zest and chopped chives then I find it easier to load this into a small piping bag and pipe over the top of the salmon fillet. Take the remaining two slices of smoked salmon to cover the cream cheese.
To make the plait – cut regularly spaced strips in the two pieces of pastry either side of the fillet then starting at the top fold the top over then one strip over the other, working from side to side and securing with the egg white. Fold up the bottom piece of pastry before covering with the strips. Chill for at least one hour to allow everything to firm up.
Brush over a wash of egg yolk and water then chill for a further half hour. When ready to bake preheat the oven and a baking sheet to 200 degrees c – take the plait from the fridge and apply another egg wash before sliding from the chilled baking sheet to the preheated one. This will ensure the pastry seals immediately at the base and no soggy bottom. Bake for 30-40 minutes until dark golden.
Allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
This plait will also bake from frozen if using previously unfrozen fish. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and place a baking sheet in the cold oven to heat also.
Once to temperature, place the frozen plait directly onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes to one hour and until internal temperature is 50 degrees celsius .
Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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