Foodstyle Review Magazine


Crayfish and onion cream pies

The base for this pie is a traditional 'soubise' sauce made from onions and cream. This is a very versatile, sweet white sauce that will serve you well for numerous dishes, such as charred vegetables, and chicken, bacon and mushrooms. This pie is also 'gourmet' in size; designed as a catering item to be held and eaten with one hand.

You can use any seafood. Our crayfish has been pre-cooked. If using rawn prawn meat, scallop meat or a nice fish – it might pay to poach the seafood lightly first so its 'water' is released.

Otherwise, it may make the pastry bottom soggy. If you are making a large 'dish' pie, then don't bother with putting pastry bottom, which solves this problem. As with the meat gourmet pies in this edition – the mixture must be cold before it is baked in pastry. 

It is rumoured that this sauce is also the base for the signature snapper pie served at The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay restaurant in Glebe, Sydney. The pie is served in a dish without pastry on the bottom. 

Soubise Sauce (makes about 2 cups, which will be enough for filling for about 10 small pies)
Two large white onions finely sliced; 1 cup of chicken stock; 1 cup of cream; 1tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil; salt and white pepper. 

Gently sweat the sliced onions in the butter and oil until cooked – soft and translucent. Stir the onion mix constantly and don't let it brown. It takes up to 30 minutes for the onions to cook with just a slight golden hue. Season with salt and white pepper and add one cup of chicken stock and one cup of runny cream. Simmer slowly until mixture is reduced and 'claggy'. This is for small pie filling so the mixture needs to be reasonably thick. If you are making this sauce for a 'dish' pie, you don't need to reduce the onion cream/stock as much.

When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, pour into a blender while still hot and blitz until smooth (it will look hummus like).

Preheat oven to 200c. Make an egg/milk wash to glaze the pie tops.

Cut your pastry to shape (see photo), and centre enough cold sauce and shredded crayfish meat (about a big tbsp) on the bottom pastry half, leaving enough room to crimp the top pastry half.
You can leave the onion cream mixture straight and onion-sweet, or go mad with extra seasoning. If you want to take a lesson from The Boathouse in Sydney, then add a few drops of Italian white truffle oil (which has a mushroom, onion, garlic taste) to each pile of mixture before enclosing in pastry, but it is not the end of the world if you don’t.

Bake until deep golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Spring 2015

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