Open salmon pie

Open salmon pie
Originally uploaded by framboise.

Had a craving for pie on Tuesday, preferably a savoury one. We’re not very big on pies. The best pies are ones made by someone else and served hot on a plate without the effort of rolling out a pastry that might not work. So in true convenience-culture fashion, we bought pre-made shortcrust pastry. After our last experience, I swore off the stuff. It doesn’t roll or taste right. Nevertheless, a pie craving at six in the evening doesn’t leave much room for letting pastry rest, so pre-made it was again. Nevermore… I must get some made myself and stick it in the freezer. Also, as we were quite hungry when the pie craving struck, we bought a tin of salmon, some Gruyere and a quarter pint of sour cream. Recipe botched from Prue Leith’s bible, and is meant to be topped with pastry to give a flat pie (but because I didn’t read it before we bought the ingredients, I didn’t have enough pastry to top it).


  • shortcrust pastry
  • some smoked or tinned salmon (miles apart, I know… but we like supermarket smoked salmon even less than tinned fish)
  • 40g butter, melted
  • ~30g parmesan, grated
  • ~50g Gruyere, grated
  • ~50g bread, grated
  • 1/4 pint sour cream
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small lemon or half of a large one
  • 1 beaten egg, for glazing


  1. Roll out the shortcrust pastry into a rectangle just bigger than a swiss roll tin.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides, and carefully place the pastry on the tin. Trim off excess pastry, and make many pricks on bottom of pastry.
  3. Bake for 10-15 min in a 200degC oven.
  4. While pastry is baking, mix the two cheeses with the breadcrumbs and melted butter.
  5. When pastry has turned to a light-gold brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.
  6. Spread half of the cheese and breadcrumb mix over the base, followed by a layer of salmon.
  7. Mix the sour cream with the minced garlic, and spread over the salmon.
  8. Squeeze on the lemon juice, and top with the reserved cheese/breadcrumb mix.
  9. If there is pastry left over, make a lattice top. If you’ve read the first paragraph of the post and realised you actually need a whole piece of pastry on top, well done! Your pie will be miles better than ours! Whichever route you choose, brush the pastry with some beaten egg and bake for about 10-15 min or until golden brown. (You may notice from the photo that I abhor throwing out the other half of the beaten egg, and so poured it onto the salmon pie.)
  10. Serve warm with some green leaves to pretend you’re eating healthily.

This cheese and fish combination would probably work better with some vegetables the next time. We had a really good salmon flan at the Gallery of Modern Art a few weekends ago, and it had some fennel in it. I suspect a few slices of tomato, or even whole cherry tomatoes, wouldn’t go amiss. We’ll certainly try this again, at least until we get fed up of botched pie jobs.

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