Stargazy seafood pie

Stargazy seafood pie

Man Food
Billy Law

Behold the stargazy seafood pie! This classic Cornish dish always makes a statement with its unique feature of fish heads (or scampi in this recipe) peering through the crust, as if gazing up to the stars. This pastry-topped pie is filled with an array of seafood, then covered in potato mash underneath a buttery pastry crust.


Quantity Ingredient
500ml milk
200g firm white fish fillets
100g butter
35g plain flour
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
200g smoked ocean trout, flaked into large chunks
12 scallops
6 scampi or yabbies, peeled and cut into big chunks
3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and quartered lengthways
50g cheddar cheese, grated
handful parsley, roughly chopped
1 egg, extra

Short crust pastry

Quantity Ingredient
225g plain flour
pinch salt
80g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
60g lard

Potato mash

Quantity Ingredient
550g potatoes, peeled and quartered
50g butter
2 tablespoons milk
salt, to taste


  1. To make the pastry, put the flour, salt, butter and lard in the bowl of a food processor, pulse until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Gradually add about 2 tablespoons cold water, a little bit at a time, until it forms a rough dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, gather the dough together, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the mash, put the potatoes in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil over a medium–high heat for 10–15 minutes, or until softened. Drain and return the potatoes to the saucepan, add the butter and milk, then mash until smooth. Season with salt and put the lid back on.
  3. Pour the milk into a saucepan, place the fish in the milk and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until just cooked. Remove the saucepan from the heat, lift the fish out onto a plate. Once cool enough to handle, flake the fish into large chunks. Keep the milk.
  4. Melt 50 g of the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until it starts to froth up. Add the flour and whisk continuously until the flour is cooked to a golden colour, about 1 minute. Pour in half the reserved milk, whisk until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk, let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to mix well. Reduce the heat to low, add all of the seafood, simmer for 1 minute then put the lid on and turn off the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface until it is about 5 mm in thickness and large enough to cover the top of a 1.5 litre baking dish. Using the dish as a guide, cut the pastry about 2 cm larger than the rim of the dish.
  6. Fill the baking dish with the seafood mixture, then top with the eggs and scatter the cheese and parsley over evenly. Spread the potato mash over the filling until fully covered. Drape the pastry over the dish, crimp the pastry around the edge to seal. Prick six holes on the pastry then place a scampi head in each hole as if they are gazing at the stars.
  7. Beat the extra egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush over the pastry. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is heated through.
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