Sea-fisherman’s pie

Sea-fisherman’s pie

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Serves
4-6

I go sea-fishing whenever I get the chance; I have done for years. I usually go with my dad and try to bring a few mates along, too. A side effect of this is a freezer full of fish, so I developed this recipe to use it all up. If you somehow manage not to go fishing every month (you’re missing out), then this recipe works really well with the packs of mixed fish you can buy in the supermarket. It’s not complicated to make puff pastry, just a bit long-winded, so be brave and have a go.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the puff pastry

Quantity Ingredient
225g strong white bread flour, plus more to dust
1/2 teaspoon table salt
225g unsalted butter, chilled
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
4 spring onions, chopped
a little bit olive oil
30g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
250ml whole milk
50ml dry white wine
75g cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
25g chives, chopped
75g frozen peas
75g frozen sweetcorn
300g mixed fish, chopped, (salmon, haddock, and cod or pollack)
100g raw shelled prawns
sea salt
black pepper

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
rolling pin
tape measure, (optional, but I find it really useful)
23 x 18 cm rectangular deep-sided pie dish with rim, (or 23 cm round)
pastry brush

Method

  1. This is very important (and a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure): if you don’t have a day to prepare, just buy a pack of all-butter puff pastry from the shops and move straight to step 6. If you do have a day to prepare, move to step 2.
  2. To make the puff pastry, first mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, then chop 25 g of the butter and rub into the flour with your fingers. Add the lemon juice and 140 ml of cold water and mix with a knife until the mixture is brought together enough to handle. Tip out on to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic (probably 5–10 minutes). Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Roll out on a floured surface to a rectangle of 51 x 17 cm (or thereabouts). You need quite a bit of worktop space for this. Roll out the remaining 200 g butter between sheets of cling film to a rectangle of 33 x 15 cm. You’ll need to peel off and reapply the cling film regularly to stop it ripping. Working quickly now, peel the top layer of cling film off the butter and flip the butter on to the rolled-out dough, covering two-thirds of the length of the dough and also leaving a clear rim around all the edges. Fold the unbuttered dough on to half of the butter and press the edges to seal the butter in. Fold this layer over to cover the remaining butter and press down the edges all round to form a 17cm square: 2 layers of butter separated by 3 layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Take out of the fridge and roll back out to about 51 x 17 cm. Fold up into thirds as before, to make a square. Turn the square through 90 degrees and roll out to 51 x 17 cm again, then fold up as before. Wrap in cling film and chill for another 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat the last step, so the pastry has been folded a total of 5 times. Chill for another 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling. Fry the spring onions in the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Set aside. Melt the butter in the same pan and stir in the flour to form a thick paste. Gradually add the milk, about 50 ml at a time, whisking well between each addition. (If you add it all at once, you’ll have a lumpy sauce.) Whisk in the wine, then stir in the cheese, mustard and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes, remembering to make sure the sauce doesn’t dry on the sides of the pan. Add the spring onions, chopped chives, peas and sweetcorn and cook for another 2–3 minutes. Add the fish and prawns and cook for another 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and scrape the filling into a 23 x 18 cm rectangular (or 23 cm round) deep-sided pie dish with a rim. Leave to cool.
  7. Preheat the oven to 240°C. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured work surface to a square of roughly 30 cm and cut off enough 3 cm-wide strips to lay around the rim of the dish. These stop the puff crust from shrinking back too much while cooking. Use plenty of beaten egg to stick these strips around the edge, then brush their tops with more egg. Roll up the remaining pastry on to a rolling pin and lay on top of the pie dish, pressing the top layer of puff down on to the strips, then cut off the excess.
  8. Gently use a sharp knife to cut small grooves along the side edges of the pastry to expose some of the puff layers. This allows the pastry to puff up more easily when cooking.
  9. Paint with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until golden brown. Serve piping hot with new potatoes and green beans.

Note

  • This recipe has a level 2 (intermediate) difficulty.

Extras

  • One of the good things about fish pie is that if it swims, and you can get the bones out, it can go in the pie. The ingredients I’ve chosen are readily available from the supermarket, but if you’re lucky enough to be or know a fisherman, use whatever you can lay your hands on. The puff top is a really good touch, but if you don’t have the time to make it or there’s none in the shop, you can top with mashed potato and it will still be delicious. Incorporate other flavours such as dill and capers into the filling and add a couple of tablespoon of lemon juice, too, if you like. Put shellfish in if you want them: a few mussels or cockles can add great texture and flavour. Oh, and take up sea-fishing, because it’s ace.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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