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Peel the artichokes carefully with a sharp knife or peeler, cut them into 2cm chunks, then place into a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice to prevent discolouring.
Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it begins to sizzle, add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Stir the shallots to coat them with the butter and cook for 5 mins until they begin to soften. Add the bay and thyme leaves and drained artichokes, then stir to mix them all together.
Add 200ml water to the pan, bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cover so that the artichokes cook gently for about 10-12 mins. When they are beginning to soften, add the cream, bring to a simmer again and cook until the sauce is reduced slightly and the artichokes are tender. Season the mixture with a little pepper, then remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. At this point, you can chill the mixture, and finish the dish when you are ready. It will keep happily in the fridge for a few hrs.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the smoked haddock cubes in a gratin dish big enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour over the artichokes and sauce, spreading the mixture out evenly. Top with breadcrumbs and a few small dots of butter. Place the gratin dish on a baking sheet and bake for 30 mins, until the top is golden brown and bubbling.