This creamy pudding is as light as a soufflé, but substantial enough to be a main dish.
Lightly butter the inside of a deep soufflé or baking dish, measuring 18-20cm across the top, then scatter in 2 tbsp of finely grated parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Finely grate 25g of parmesan. Peel 1 small onion. Finely chop 100g of smoked salmon.
Bring 300ml of milk to the boil in a small pan together with the onion and a bay leaf. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes.
Melt 50g of butter in a small, heavy-based saucepan, stir in 55g of plain flour and leave over the heat for a couple of minutes, stirring almost continuously. Remove the bay leaf and onion from the milk, then stir the milk into the butter and flour to make a thick white sauce. Let it bubble for a minute or two, stirring continuously.
Separate 4 large eggs. Lightly beat the yolks with a fork. Remove the sauce from the heat, then stir in the beaten egg yolks. Stir in 20g of the finely grated parmesan, the chopped smoked salmon and 2 tbsp of chopped tarragon.
In a big bowl and using a large balloon whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff and frothy. Fold them into the sauce, then spoon into the buttered dish. Smooth the top lightly, scatter with 1 tbsp of finely grated parmesan, then place on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. The crust should be pale to mid-brown, the centre soft and oozing. Serve immediately. Serves 3
If your sauce looks lumpy, then whisk fiercely until it is smooth and thick.
The pudding should be soft in the middle. To check if it is done, push the dish with your oven glove: the contents should shudder, not wobble violently.
The Observer aims to publish recipes for fish rated as sustainable by the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide
Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater