This gorgeous fish pie makes the perfect family meal, and will be loved by kids and adults alike. Paul says: “A traditional working port, Whitby has some outstanding fish and chip shops overlooking the harbour, so you can watch the fish being unloaded while you eat. This is a pretty luxurious pie. In the past it would have been made with whatever was landed on the day. Making the pastry lattice top is fun but, if it’s all too much, you could just cover the pie with a pastry lid in the usual way.”
- For the pastry:
- 275g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 135g cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 medium egg, plus 1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
- 1 tbsp ice-cold water
- For the filling:
- 700ml full-fat milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small onion, peeled and halved
- 4 cloves
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g plain flour
- 75g spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 400g haddock fillet, skinned
- 400g smoked haddock fillet, skinned
- 175g cooked peeled prawns
- Salt and pepper
To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg with the water and stir into the mixture with a round-bladed knife until it forms a dough, adding a little more water if necessary. Knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Put the milk in a pan with the bay leaf and onion studded with the cloves. Bring slowly to the boil, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug.
Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the infused milk. Increase the heat a little, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the spinach, parsley and some salt and pepper.
Check the fish for pin bones, then cut into bite-sized pieces and put into a 1.2 litre pie dish with the prawns. Pour on the sauce, gently mix with the fish and check the seasoning. Leave to cool.
Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness, and a little larger than the top of the pie dish. Use to form the lattice (as shown overleaf).
Dampen the rim of the pie dish with water, cut a strip of pastry to fit round it and gently press it on. Brush with a little water, then invert the lattice from the parchment onto the dish. Press the ends of the strips onto the pastry rim and trim the edges.
Brush the top of the lattice with beaten egg to glaze and bake the pie for 25–30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.