This impressive salmon recipe by Galton Blackiston will make a stunning festive centrepiece. The salt meringue will also ensure that the fish is perfectly cooked, as the crust traps in moisture and lightly steams and seasons the fish as it bakes. Do not eat the meringue- it is for decoration.
Start the recipe by creating a base for the dish. Draw a fish shape on a piece of cardboard, around 2cm larger than the salmon on the sides, hand your little helper a pair of kid’s scissors and get them to cut out the shape of the fish.
Wrap the card in 2 layers of tin foil, place on a baking tray and lay the salmon on top
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, fan 180°C
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a food mixer and set to whisk at a high speed. When the whites have reached medium peaks, stop whisking.
Begin whisking again at a medium speed and slowly add the salt. Keep whisking until the whites are firm and meringue-like in consistency.
Use a palette knife to smooth the mixture over the whole salmon, spreading it right to the base to create an airtight seal.
Now grab the kids and get decorating! Ensure the meringue surface is smooth, then use the handle of a spoon to trace the eye, gills and mouth of the salmon into the meringue. Use the end of the palette knife to create ‘scales’ over the surface of the fish, taking care not to pierce through the meringue into the flesh.
Slowly transfer the salmon to the oven, taking care as the meringue may slip if the fish is jolted. If some meringue slips, simply patch it up with your spatula.
After 20 minutes in the oven, push a metal skewer into the thickest part of the fish for 10 seconds. If the skewer feels hot to the touch when you take it out, the fish is ready. If only lukewarm, return to the oven for 5 more minutes and check again.
Carefully lift the fish onto a large board and using a sharp knife, cut around the base, parting the crust from the foil. The meringue casing should lift off in one piece, do not eat the meringue - it is for decoration only. Serve immediately.
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