1: Two days in advance, line a roasting pan or deep dish large enough to hold the salmon fillets with clingfilm, leaving enough over-hang to wrap around the fillets. Mix the brown sugar, sea salt flakes, fennel seeds and juniper berries together in a bowl. Spread a layer of this mix over the clingfilm. Place a salmon fillet, skin side down, on top. Spread half the remaining mix onto the salmon. Pour over the gin and then place the other salmon fillet on top, skin side up, so the two flesh sides are facing each other. Put the remaining cure mix on top of the salmon, then wrap very tightly with the clingfilm.
2: Place this parcel in a non-metallic deep dish and place a weight on top. A large milk container will do. Leave this in the fridge for 48 hours, turning the salmon over after 24 hours. After 48 hours, rinse the salmon fillets and pat them dry.
3: To make the buttermilk pancakes, mix the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix the buttermilk, butter and egg together. Add about half the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and give the mixture a quick whisk, but not too much. Gently stir in the rest of the wet ingredients. The mixture should be quite thick and a little lumpy. Leave it to rest at room temperature for 5–10 minutes before cooking.
4: When ready to cook the pancakes, heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Working in batches, depending on the size of your pan, add spoonfuls of the pancake mix and fry for 11/2–2 minutes on each side until bubbly on the surface and golden brown. You should get 12–16 pancakes. Transfer them to a low oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.
5: When you’re ready to serve, very thinly slice the salmon and divide among the plates. Serve with the pancakes with a little crème fraîche, a spoonful of maple syrup and juniper berries sprinkled over. A shot of frozen gin goes really well with these, too!