Finnish Fish Pie

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Prep 30min (+45min pastry making)Bake 45minMakes 4 serves

On a trip to Finland a few years ago it only took me a couple of meals to realise how much dill and salmon feature in the country’s wonderful cuisine. This pie is a little ode to the Fin’s favourite ingredients, all topped off with a deliciously buttery, flaky pastry.


40g butter

2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced

35g (¼ cup) plain flour

250ml (1½ cup) milk

125ml (½ cup) pouring (thin) cream

50g (½ cup) coarsely grated vintage cheddar

3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

1½ tablespoons baby capers, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons chopped dill

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

700g skinless salmon fillets, pin-boned and cut into 3cm pieces

1 quantity simple flaky pastry

1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with 2 teaspoons milk, to glaze

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the flour and stir with a balloon whisk for about 1 minute until the mixture is bubbling and leaves the sides of the pan.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in half the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk and cream, stirring until smooth. Return the pan to medium heat and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the sauce immediately to a large heatproof bowl and stir in the cheddar, spring onions, capers, dill and mustard. Taste and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until cooled to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (180°C fan-forced). You will need a 1.5 litre (6 cup) capacity ovenproof dish to cook the pie.
  6. When the sauce has cooled, add the salmon and stir gently to combine evenly.
  7. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the shape of the dish until about 4 mm thick. Spoon the cooled salmon mixture into the dish, then brush the edge of the dish with a little of the eggwash. Place the pastry over the filling to cover, then use a small sharp knife to run around the edge of the pie dish on a slight angle to trim the excess pastry. Use a fork to press around the edge of the dish to seal. Cut a cross in the top of the pie and then brush the pastry with a little eggwash to glaze. Decorate the top with the off-cuts of pastry, if desired, and then glaze again with the little of the eggwash.
  8. Place the pie on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is dark golden, crisp and cooked through. Serve straight from the oven.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: PiesCLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.
    Photography by Alan Benson.