Full of flavour, colour and design, Mary Berry's salmon en croûte recipe with asparagus is the perfect dinner party dish sure to impress all your guests. Although often quite a tricky recipe, Marry Berry's version is full-proof and simple to follow - and trust us, the end result is delicious!
700g (1 lb 9 oz) thick asparagus spears, trimmed
1 × 280g (10 oz) packet full-fat cream cheese
1 egg yolk
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 good tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 good tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon snipped chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 × 500g (1 lb 2 oz) packet puff pastry
1kg (2¼ lb) side fresh salmon, skinned
1 egg, beaten
6 tablespoons full-fat mayonnaise
150ml (¼ pint) double cream
Can be made up to a day ahead.
Not suitable for freezing.
Bake on a hot baking sheet in an oven preheated to200˚C/Fan 180˚C/Gas 6 for 30–40 minutes.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil on the Boiling Plate, add the asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again and put to one side.
Spoon the cream cheese into a mixing bowl, add the egg yolk, lemon zest and half the chopped herbs, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Roll the pastry out to 50 × 40cm (20 × 16 in) on a floured work surface. Slice in half lengthways and put one half on a piece of non-stick paper on a baking sheet. Place the side of salmon on top and brush the pastry round it with beaten egg. Spread the salmon with half the cream cheese mixture. Arrange the dry asparagus on top lengthways, covering the whole side of the salmon. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over the asparagus spears, carefully pushing between the gaps.
Roll the remaining piece of pastry to 30 × 40cm (12 × 16 in) so it is a little bigger than the base piece. Lay on top of the asparagus and seal the edges. Trim to leave a 2cm (¾ in) border all the way round and then crimp the edges. Brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg and decorate with any pastry trimmings to give a lattice effect.
Slide the baking sheet on to the floor of the Roasting Oven for 30 minutes, turning around halfway through, until golden and crisp. Rest for 10–15 minutes before serving.
To make the sauce, put the remaining herbs in a bowl with the mayonnaise, double cream and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Carve the salmon into slices and serve with the sauce.