Pine Cured Salmon Crepes with Juniper Berries

This recipe from Frank McClelland basically screams Christmas. Making a decidedly unique use of the scents of the season – pine and juniper – this recipe is an interesting take on a traditional cured salmon. While the curing process takes a few days, the crepe and filling are actually pretty simple and quick to put together, making this recipe a great option for party hors d’oeuvres or a first course for a fancy holiday meal.


Servings: 12


For the salmon cure
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups sea salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 star anises
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 2 ounces pine needles
For the crepe batter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
For the filling
  • 2 pounds cream cheese
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 side Scottish Salmon fillet


For the salmon
  1. Mix all the curing ingredients together in a electric mixing bowl at a slow speed to ensure all is combined.
  2. Place the salmon on a wire rack and cover with the cure - this needs to be a good 1/2 inch thick covering. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Leave the salmon to cure for two days in the refrigerator. Then, rinse away all of the cure, pat dry and leave to air dry on a clean rack for another day in the refrigerator. Then if a smoky flavor is desired, cold smoke for 20 minutes. Slice the salmon as thinly as possible, right before serving.
For the crepes
  1. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Then, in a separate bowl, incorporate the eggs, milk and caraway seeds together. Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Lastly, slowly whisk the melted butter into the batter. Let the crepe batter rest for several hours or overnight (refrigerate if resting overnight).
  2. With a ladle, pour approximately 2 ounces of the rested batter into a hot, lightly oiled nonstick pan. Remember to twist your wrist to make sure the batter completely coats the bottom of the pan. Let the crepe cook until set up and lightly browned, about 30 seconds to a minute. Then, flip and brown the other side for a few seconds.
For the filling
  1. Put the cream cheese in a electric mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on slow speed until softened. Then slowly add the chives, truffle oil, salt and pepper, and mix until combined.
  2. Keep the cream cheese at room temperature until ready to use.
To serve
  1. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on a crepe. Then place a thin layer of salmon on top of the cream cheese. Place a second crepe on top of the salmon and repeat the process until you have three layers. Cut into portions and serve.

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