A Simple Fish Pie made with home canned (or store bought) canned fish, eggs, and herbs. Easy to prepare and absolutely delicious for lunch or dinner.
Childhood Fish Pie Memories
I hated Fish Pie growing up. On the days that I came home from school, tired after an hour long bus ride on bumpy country roads, and smelled a fish pie baking as soon as I walked in the door…my stomach turned. The fish smell was so overpowering and I was a kid who just didn’t like anything to do with fish. I hated ice fishing. Why stand over an open hole in the middle of a freezing lake with no shelter from the wind? Waiting in the freezing cold for a bite was entirely pointless to me. The only good thing about ice fishing back in those days was that my parents would always stop at the store for snacks. I’ve always been snack motivated so a bag of chips and some licorice were all the incentive I needed to put up with ice fishing.
From Fish Hater to Fish Lover
I despised the taste (and smell) of ‘fishy fish’ and I would always ask my dad if the fish was going to be ‘fishy’. As if he would know! I eventually learned that it was Jack fish (or Northern Pike) that was the ‘fishy’ tasting fish and White fish was more mild but had tiny, delicate bones. Oh, the bones!! I hated those too. Now that I’m an adult, I love fish. Go figure.
That Fish Pie Crave
What’s strangest of all, is that as an adult, I now crave my mom’s fish pie. I’ve been wanting to make it for a while but put it off because the first ingredient needed for fish pie is canned fish. I’m not talking canned salmon (though you can use it in a pinch) but fresh caught fish, preserved in jars with a bit of vinegar, herbs, and tomato.
Saskatchewan Fish Pie
When I asked my mom for the recipe, she pointed me in the direction of the family cookbook which contained the recipes for both the canned fish and the fish pie. I also discovered that my Grandma was the original author of this recipe (not my mom) and that it was, essentially, a quiche. I love it. I love that my Grandma invented quiche!!
How to Preserve Fish
My parents thought I was silly for buying fresh fish (they told me to buy canned salmon), then canning it just to make this recipe but I really wanted to go as close to the original recipe as I could. I bought a wild Steelhead Trout and sliced it up. One large fillet ended up filling 3 500 ml jars.
How to Make Canned Fish
- 1 large filet of Steelhead Trout
- 3 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup passata
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vinegar; divided into 3 amounts of 1/4 cup
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Cut filet into 2 inch slices.
- Sterilize 3 500 ml jars in 220 F oven in a pan containing an inch of water. Heat lids in a pot of boiling water.
- Mix salt, garlic, and passata together.
- Place fish in hot jars, divide passata evenly between the three jars.
- Add 1/4 cup vinegar to EACH jar.
- Place 2 sprigs fresh thyme in each jar. Cover and process.
Hot Water Bath Processing – Place hot jars on the rack of a canner filled with boiling water. Lower the rack and ensure the water is deep enough to cover the jars. Process for 2 hours. NOTE: The recipe says to do this for 5 hours. I think that’s a bit ridiculous, however, I do know that hot water processing is NOT recommended for meat or fish. Just because my Grandma and mom did it (and we didn’t die) doesn’t mean that it is 100% safe. For that, you need a pressure canner.
Pressure Canning – Process at 10 lbs pressure for two hours. I really have no idea HOW, that’s just what the recipe says.
- pastry for single pie crust
- 500 ml jar canned fish
- 4 eggs 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion; diced
- 2 tbsp cream
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F
- Roll out pastry and arrange in a 9 inch pie plate.
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add diced onions and sweat them until they are translucent.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs with 1/2 cup of the saved juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain fish, saving the juice. Break up the fish and scatter over the pastry. Top with sautéed onions.
- Pour egg mixture over all. Sprinkle with fresh thyme
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until it is set and slightly browned.