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Star Gazey / Stargazey Pie Recipe

A type of Cornish pie made with sardines or pilchards (small herrings can be used instead). The name comes from the fact that the heads of the fish appear looking upwards through the pastry lid.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.


For 6-8 helpings:

8 of your chosen fish, cleaning and boned, but with the heads left on

1 teaspoon (5ml) Butter

a little Salt and freshly-ground Pepper

2 tablespoons (30ml) prepared English Mustard

1 batch of Shortcrust Pastry (q.v.) or 10 oz/300gr bought Shortcrust Pastry

4 Hard-Boiled Eggs, cut into wedges

1 big or or medium Onions, peeled and finely-chopped

6 slices of Streaky Bacon, finely-chopped

1 tablespoon Dried Mixed Herbs (although not traditional, Herbs de Provence are even better)

8 fl oz/225ml Double Cream

1 Egg, lightly beaten

Equipment needed: a 10 ins/25cm pie dish


Grease the pie dish with the butter.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Roll out the pastry so it's 1 ins/2.5cm bigger than the top of the pie dish. Cut a narrow strip right round this, slightly moisten the edge of the pie dish with a little water, the 'stick' this strip round the rim of the pie dish.

Season the inside of each filleted fish with a little salt and pepper, and spread each with a teaspoon (5ml) of mustard.

Spread the egg wedges over the bottom of the pie dish, then lay the fish over the top, with their tails in the centre, and their heads hanging over the edge - in the form of a clock.

Scatter over the bacon, herbs and onions evenly, then pour over the cream.

Moisten the pie pastry stiff with water and carefully cover the pie with the pastry round, making a small hole for each fish head to stick through. Stick the edges down thoroughly onto the pastry rim.

If you happen to have any left-over pastry, it can be used for decorating the top of the pie (perhaps with stars). Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

Bake the pie in the oven for 35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Serve while still hot.

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