The Stargazy Pie Recipe is a traditional Cornish dish that originated in the small fishing community of Mousehole in the English county of Cornwall. It is a one of a kind visually stunning pie. Recognised for its peculiar design, which features fish heads emerging through the pastry casing.
The arrangement of fish, typically herrings, within the pie is the pie’s defining feature. The entire fish, including their heads, are positioned to look to be peering up through the pastry. The pie gets its name from this presentation, which is claimed to resemble stars in the night sky.
The pie is customarily served on Tom Bawcock’s Eve. Which is celebrated in Mousehole on December 23rd each year. Tom Bawcock, according to folklore, was a brave fisherman who ventured out during a powerful storm to catch fish. Ensuring the town had enough food during a time of great famine. The Stargazy Pie is thought to have been invented to honour his bravery.
- 1 pie crust
- 6-8 small whole herrings, cleaned and deboned
- 4-5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
- 4-6 rashers of bacon
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fish stock (or vegetable stock as a substitute)
- 1/4 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Roll out the pie crust and line a pie dish with it. Set aside.
- In a large pan, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
- In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well to combine. Cook for about 1 minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Slowly pour in the fish stock while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Stir in the milk and continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the herring fillets in the pie dish, making sure the heads poke out of the crust. Place the halved hard-boiled eggs between the herrings, yolk side up.
- Pour the sauce over the fish and eggs, ensuring everything is evenly covered.
- Place the bacon rashers on top of the sauce, leaving some of the heads exposed.
- Cover the pie with the remaining pie crust, sealing the edges. Cut a few slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.
- Bake the pie in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Once cooked, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.