Smoked fish pies
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tamara West
The foundation of these pies is a silky smooth bechamel sauce. Celia Hay shows how to perfect this cook’s classic.
- Place the oil in a small pot. Add the diced carrot and onion and season with salt. Cover with a lid and cook gently until translucent (4-5 minutes). The vegetables should be just firm as they will cook again inside the pie. Leave to cool.
- Once cool, place the carrot and onion mix and the bechamel into a bowl. Add the smoked fish, breaking it up with your fingers, and a squeeze of lemon. Stir gently to combine and check for seasoning.
- Heat the oven to 220C and spray 6 pie tins lightly with oil to prevent the pastry sticking.
- Lay the pastry on top of the tins and press down (with your hand or a small cloth works well) to stretch the pastry into the shape of the tin. The pastry can poke up as you will eventually roll off the edges with a rolling pin. Brush the pastry case lightly with milk, including the excess pastry.
- Spoon the fish mixture into each tin and press spinach leaves on top.
- Lay a new sheet of pastry over the filled tin and with your rolling pin, roll the pastry to seal the base with the lid. The pressure of the rolling pin will cut off the excess pastry. Glaze the lid by brushing with milk or whisked egg for a glossy finish and stab two air holes in the top.
- Place the pies on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.