Salmon & Fennel Pie Recipe

By Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe

Salmon & Fennel Pie Recipe

Salmon & Fennel Pie Recipe. Hot-smoked salmon – available from most supermarkets these days – is an extremely convenient thing to have in the fridge. It can be flaked into a simple salad or pasta, or mashed into rillettes. Here, tarted up with fennel seeds, it provides the backbone for a tremendously easy pie, which can be prepared in advance, kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours and then slid into the oven half an hour before you’re planning to eat. Cut it up at the table and augment with green beans and a salad of baby spinach or rocket.


Serves 4 generously 


500 g (about 6 medium) potatoes, dutch cream or similar

300 g hot-smoked salmon

200 g creme fraiche or sour cream

2 eggs

1 teaspoon horseradish cream sauce

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted in a dry pan then crushed finely grated

zest of 1/2 lemon

2 sheets all-butter puff pastry

1 spring onion, thinly sliced into rounds

large handful of dill fronds, finely chopped

1 egg yolk, whisked with

1 teaspoon water

Boil the whole, unpeeled potatoes until they’re cooked, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, whizz the salmon, crème fraîche, eggs, horseradish, fennel seeds and lemon zest to a thick paste.

On a baking tray lined with baking paper, lay out a sheet of puff pastry and spread half of the salmon mixture over it, leaving a 1.5 cm border all round the edges. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the spring onion and dill. Slice the potatoes into 1 cm thick rounds and lay them on top, overlapping like fish scales.

Spread the rest of the salmon mix over the potatoes. Brush the pastry border with egg wash and lay the second sheet of pastry over the top, tucking it around the filling and pressing down on the edges to seal.

Now, if you’re the sort that loves a fancy decorated lid to your pie (pastry fish, leaves, cherubim or whatever), then go for it. For this pie, I tend to just use the tip of a knife to make small diagonal slits in a pleasing pattern. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to brush the whole thing with egg wash before baking.

When you’re ready to cook the pie, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Bake for about 25 minutes or until puffed up and deep golden. Check that the bottom is crisp too – if it’s soggy, use the baking paper to help you slide the pie off the baking tray and sit the pie (still on its baking paper) directly on the oven rack to crisp for a few minutes.


Images and recipes from Special Guest by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography: Rob Palmer 


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