Traditional fish pie with a creamy sauce, topped with mashed potatoes or puff pastry is one of our favorite things to eat, especially in a cozy pub on a chilly day. So when our organizer, Wendy of A Day in the Life on a Farm asked for host volunteers, I stepped forward thinking January would be the perfect time for a rich fish pie.
And, indeed, we are experiencing a bit of a chill here in Dubai. But, I’ll be honest, it’s not that cold. Also, from another project, I had some leftover filo pastry in the freezer that needed using up. If you’ve ever worked with filo, you know it can crack and break. But what I’ve figured out is that if you use the relatively whole pieces to make the bottom of the crust, you can just keep layering the small pieces and brushing them with butter and they come together nicely to complete a crunchy top.
Note: Keep the filo pastry covered with a damp cloth, removing one piece at a time as you layer the crust.
Olive oil for pan
Filo (sometimes spelled phyllo) pastry sheets – about 4 oz or 113g
2-3 large handfuls baby leaf spinach - don’t get hung up on weight. Just toss it in.
Sea salt - I use the fine stuff
12 oz or 350g shrimp, already peeled and cleaned
7 oz or 200g feta, crumbled
2 oz or 57g extra sharp cheddar, grated
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
Zest 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried herbs - I like a mix of thyme and marjoram
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.
In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and add in your spinach with a sprinkle of salt and a good couple of grinds of black pepper.
Add another drizzle of oil to the pan and cook the shrimp until pink, again adding a sprinkle of salt and a good couple of grinds of black pepper. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add your eggs, feta, cheddar cheese, lemon zest, herbs and some black pepper. Whisk to combine.
Fold in the drained spinach and the shrimp and add some more black pepper and cayenne, if desired.
Brush the bottom of your baking pan with butter. Layer your filo sheets one at a time, into the pan, brushing them with the melted butter before adding the next sheet. I had about 3 relatively intact sheets and lots of bits. Leave the ends hanging over the sides.
Pour in the filling and smooth out the top. Start laying the bits of filo on top, brushing with butter as you go.
Use a sharp knife to make a vent hole in the middle of the pie so steam can get out and your filo will get crispy.
Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. If it’s browning too quickly, you can cover the top with foil.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 15-20 minutes before attempting to slice it.
Are you a fan of fish or seafood pies too? Then you are going to love this linky list! Click on the photos to see the recipes.