Stargazey Pie Recipe

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A classic, though eccentric, regional English recipe!

Estimated Prep Time: 25 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time: 40 minutes Cooking at: 375 F / 190 C / Gas Mark 5


6 Pilchards (fresh)


Clean the fish, if not already, but leave their heads and tails on. Trim off the fins, and bone them. Wash well, and set on paper towel to drain.

Stir the bread crumbs into the milk; set aside.

Peel and chop the onion; set aside.

Hard-boil the eggs. Peel, then chop them; set aside.

Zest the lemon. Add to the milk and bread crumb mixture, then juice the lemon to get 3 tablespoons of juice. Add this juice to the milk and bread crumb mixture as well, along with the chopped onion and the parsley.

Line the bottom of an ovenproof dish with half of the piecrust.

Distribute the bread crumb mixture throughout the dish, and sprinkle around the chopped egg and bacon. Season with salt and paper, then pour the cider on.

Put on the top crust. Make 6 slits in the top crust, and stick the fish in, with either their heads or tails showing. Brush the crust with an egg-wash.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Recipe notes

Instead of dried parsley, you can use double the amount of fresh.

Instead of pilchards, you can use fresh sardines or herrings.

For the pastry crust, you can use a regular pie crust, or puff pastry.

For the cider, use a dry English cider such as you purchase in cans or bottles; not the sweet North American cider.

The story behind this recipe...

  • icon
    Stargazey Pie is a fish pie made in Mousehole, West Cornwall, England, near Penzance. The pie has a top crust.
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