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Fish Pie in Pastry

Introduction & method

Fish pie is usually topped with a layer of mashed potato, but it works equally well encased in pastry.

Fish Pie in Pastry Recipe

About the Fish

Fish pie usually has a mixture of different types of fish - choose a white one like cod, an oily one like salmon and a smoked one like smoked haddock. Many supermarkets these days will sell a fish pie mix, which can be quite economical.


I like my white sauces to have some savoury onion flavour but I don't always want chunks of onion in the sauce so I infuse the milk with onion. To do this, peel and roughly chop an onion, place it in a jug or bowl with the milk and microwave it for a minute or two. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Make the Pastry

In a large bowl, mix the salt into the flour. Cut the cold butter into small chunks and rub it into the flour with your fingertips. Stop when the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add water a bit at a time - make sure it's all mixed in before you add any more. You only want to add enough water to make the dough come together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Filling

Check that there are no bones in your fish fillets and place them in a single layer in the bottom of a frying pan. Add the onion-infused milk (but not the onion) and simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish pieces are opaque and flaky. Remove the fish from the pan and separate the fish from any skin. Make a slurry of equal parts cornflour and water and stir it into the milk. Bring it almost to the boil, stirring frequently. The sauce will thicken up and you can add the cream, the fish flakes, prawns, capers, and chopped parsley. Simmer gently for about five minutes, then taste it and add salt and white pepper to taste. Remove from heat and transfer to a cold bowl to cool down.

Assemble the Pie

You'll need a 23cm (9 inch) diameter metal pie dish. Sprinkle some flour on your worktop and roll out a piece of dough into a disc that's a little bigger than your pie dish. Invert the dish over the pastry and trim it up to the edge. This will be the lid of the pie. Set it aside and roll out the remaining dough. Sprinkle the pie dish with semolina, polenta or rice flour and place the pastry over it. Press it down and trim the excess off the edge. Spoon the filling into the pie, moisten the rim of the pastry with water and put the lid on, squeezing it with your thumbs to seal it. Apply any kind of crimping technique you like and glaze the top with eggwash (beaten egg with a splash of milk). 

Bake the Pie

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven or airfryer, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Bake the pie until the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes.



The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Fish Pie in Pastry on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 200 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
 100 grams unsalted butter
 100 ml water
 pinch of salt
 450 grams fish pie mix
 100 grams peeled and cooked prawns
 1 medium onion
 300 ml milk
 2 tbsp double (heavy) cream
 2 tsp capers
 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
 1 tbsp water
 small handful flatleaf parsley
  salt and white pepper to taste

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooling/resting time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.