Traditional fish pie with a pastry lid
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
This no-fuss traditional fish pie is a weeknight staple. Using a pie bird or egg cup will prevent the pastry top sitting directly on the fish filling and becoming soggy. Infusing the milk adds flavour, but is not a necessity.
|2 cups||Milk, full cream|
|50 g||Butter, plus extra for buttering dish|
|600 g||Fish fillets, firm white, cut in 2.5cm pieces|
|2 Tbsp||Parsley, curly, finely chopped|
|300 g||Puff pastry|
|1||Egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash|
|1||Lemon, for squeezing|
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Lightly butter a 4-cup-capacity pie dish. Place a pie bird or an upturned ovenproof egg cup in the centre of the dish.
- Pour milk into a heavy-based saucepan and add the parsley stalks, bay leaf, peppercorns and onion. Place over a low heat and let it come slowly up to simmering point. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes, then strain into a jug and discard flavourings.
- Wash out saucepan, add butter and melt. Add the flour, stir well to make a roux, place back over a medium heat and cook until lightly golden. Pour on infused milk and stir continuously until smooth, shiny and thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Gently stir through the fish, lemon zest and parsley, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place in pie dish.
- On a lightly-floured bench top, roll out pastry until 5mm in thickness and large enough to cover the top of the pie dish with a little extra. Cut thin strips from remaining pastry and use to place around edge of pie dish. Brush with egg wash.
- Place pastry lid on top of filled pie dish and press edges together. Using a sharp knife and horizontal cuts, “knockup” the pastry, which seals it together and helps the pastry to rise up in layers. Make 2-3 slits in the pastry top to allow steam to escape during cooking (if not using a pie bird) and brush with egg wash.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is dark brown and the filling bubbling. Serve with extra lemons for squeezing.
Make it different
- Add vegetables and herbs — celery, spinach, corn and peas.
- Add capers and/or gherkins.