Oh I love this pie. It takes a little while to make, but it’s well worth the effort. I know a pastry fish pie can be divisive, so if you’re more of a mash type, then just go ahead with the filling and tuck it in under a mash duvet. It’s all good however you make it. This is the pie that our old friends Jim & Tarsh requested as a final supper before they emigrated to New Zealand many years ago and so consequently I think of them every time I make it now. One day I’ll get to make it for them again! Serves 4.
350g mix white/smoked fish
2 tbsp plain flour
Handful chopped parsley
1 pack puff pastry
Salt & pepper
- Put 2 of the eggs in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and bubble away for 6 minutes until hard boiled – run the pan under cold water to cool them a little, then leave to sit in cold water until cool.
- Place the fish in a large saucepan or deep frying pan, cover with the milk, pop on a lid and bring to a simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked.
- Strain the fish but KEEP THE MILK! Put the fish to one side to cool enough to handle.
- Using the same frying/saucepan, melt the butter, then quickly stir in the flour to make a paste. Keep stirring and cooking the paste for a couple of minutes, then slowly start adding in the reserved milk a little at a time, stirring and mixing well until smooth after each addition.
- Continue like this until you have a thick white sauce – you may need to add a little more milk, or not use up all that you have. Season well.
- At this point, peel the boiled eggs, roughly chop them, and throw into the sauce, along with the chopped parsley (you can add chopped capers + gerkins if the mood takes you too).
- Flake the fish using your hands to peel off any skin and break it into chunks, removing any bones you find – add to the sauce too, and stir the whole lot together with the juice of half a lemon.
- Leave to cool completely.
- Heat oven to 220C
- Now you have a choice to make – either a) put the filling in a pie dish and add a pastry lid by brushing the edges of the dish with beaten egg, rolling out the pastry, laying it on top and pressing down at the edges, trimming, making a small hole in the centre and bushing with egg all over the top
- b) Roll out the pastry to a 12″ square, put the pastry on a greased baking tray, then pile the filling in the centre, brush around the edge with beaten egg, then bring all 4 corners together in the centre, pressing together to make a sealed parcel, brushing again with egg all over the top.
- Either way, bake for 30 mins until risen and golden, and enjoy your beautiful pie!