Pastry, Pies and More

A few weeks ago I did the Pie Extravaganza short course at William Angliss Institute.  It was fantastic and I got so much out of it.  I took the course to learn to make pastry as I’ve never been very successful with it and butter puff pastry is getting a bit boring.  I now know how to make pastry (my technique was all wrong and I let the pastry get too warm), but I learnt so much more.  The course was run by Chef Lucinda Macdougall, who was absolutely lovely, and we made sweet and savoury pastry, which we used to make quiches for lunch and rhubarb and strawberry tart.  We were all assigned a pie to make, but we ran out of time and only made one pie and lots of pie fillings, which we got to take home.  I was assigned the seafood pie, which led me to discover Veloute (also called cream sauce), which is a white sauce made with stock instead of milk.  What a discovery – there are so many ways I can use this.

I got to take my seafood pie filling home (along with some rhubarb and strawberry tarts 🙂 ), froze it and then made two little seafood pies for myself and hubby on an Oscar-free night in.  The recipe I made at the course wasn’t Oscar suitable, but only needs a few minor tweaks next time I make it.  I’ve written these recipes as I made them at the course, with the substitutions I would make at home.

I also picked up lots of other cooking tips, such as the definition of a pinch of salt.  It’s not a few grains between your fingers, it’s a BIG pinch.  And don’t stir stock while it’s cooking, not even to push everything into the water.

I can highly recommend this course, if they run it again.  Lucinda did mention she could have done gluten-free pastry if anyone had needed it.  She’s very anti-margarine, but lard can be used as an alternative to butter in pastry.  You can also use a combination of lard and butter.


Seafood Pie

Serves 6
Prep time 2 hours
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Allergy / Intolerance Artificial Addititives, Artificial Colours, Preservatives
Suitable for RPAH Elimination Diet – Very High Chemical
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
By author Lucinda Macdougall
Delicious, creamy seafood pie.


  • 20 Mussels (cleaned)
  • White wine
  • 30 raw prawns (shelled)
  • 30 scallops
  • 1 Large piece salmon (skin removed)
  • 2 Batches veloute made with fish stock (refer to recipes)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)

To top, either:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • mashed potato


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a large saucepan with a lid, pour in 1/2 cm of white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels and cover the saucepan. Shake the pan until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that don't open. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, remove the mussels from the shells.
3. Slice the salmon into 1-2 cm sized pieces and set aside.
Simmer the veloute until very thick, then stir in the prawns, salmon, scallops and mussels. Add the parsley and stir over low heat until the seafood is cooked.
Making Seafood Pie
Pour the seafood filling into a large pie dish or several smaller dishes for individual pies.
Making Seafood Pie
Top the pie(s) with puff pastry or mashed potato dotted with butter.
Making Seafood Pie
Bake in the oven until the pastry is cooked or the potato is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
Seafood Pie


Very High Salicylates and Amines, Low Glutamates

This pie could very easily be made low or moderate chemical by:

  1. Using a low/moderate fish or vegetable stock in the veloute,
  2. Substituting the salmon for fresh white fish,
  3. Steaming the mussels in whisky or vodka,
  4. Leaving out the prawns, and
  5. Using just a small amount of parsley for colour.

Refer here for the fish stock recipe and the veloute recipe (leave out the cream).


Shortcrust Pastry

Serves 1 batch
Prep time 45 minutes
Allergy / Intolerance Amines, Artificial Addititives, Artificial Colours, Dairy, Egg, Glutamates, Preservatives, Salicylates
Suitable for Dairy / Lactose Free, RPAH Elimination Diet - Low Chemical / Failsafe
Meal type Ingredient
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable
By author Lucinda Macdougall
Make your own shortcrust pastry.


  • 225g plain white flour
  • 115g butter or lard (chilled and diced)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons chilled water
  • Pinch salt


1. Sift the flour and salt together.
2. Cut in the butter until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
3. Sprinkle the water over the surface of the flour mixture and and mix with a fork until it comes together. Add the water a bit at a time until this happens. Don't make it too moist.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Form the dough into a ball and knead until smooth. Don't overwork it.
5. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in cling wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until firm.


Low Chemical / Failsafe, Dairy-free if using lard, Egg-free


  1. To cut in the butter (step 2), use two dinner knives to cut through the butter and flour until the butter is in small pieces.  Place a wet tea towel under the bowl to hold it steady.  Do the last part with your fingers, lifting the flour/butter up and dropping it back until you have the fine bread crumb texture.
  2. Step 2 can be done in a food processor using a plastic or steel blade.  Use the pulse setting and stop and check intermittently until the flour and butter is like fine bread crumbs.
  3. Avoid letting too much warmth into the pastry - watch for the temperature in the room and the temperature of your hands.  Minimise handling with your hands.

1 batch of pastry is 375 grams.

This pastry can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, for longer storage.

Fish Stock (not Low Chemical / Failsafe)

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy / Intolerance Artificial Addititives, Artificial Colours, Dairy, Egg, Preservatives, Wheat
Suitable for Dairy / Lactose Free, Gluten Free, RPAH Elimination Diet – Very High Chemical
Meal type Ingredient
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable
By author Lucinda Macdougall
Mild flavoured fish stock.


  • 1 Large carrot (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 Large onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Small handful peppercorns
  • Bones and head of 1 fish


  • Prawn shells


1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan, fill with water and bring to the boil.
2. Allow to boil for an hour without stirring. Skim off any froth from the top.
3. Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer.


Very High Salicylates and Amines, Low Glutamates

This stock could be made using vegetables and herbs that are low to moderate in salicyaltes, such as leek instead of onion and chives instead of the bay leaf and peppercorns.  Fish develops amines quite quickly, so if amines are a problem use fresh fish bones.

Prawns are very high in amines and are soaked in sulphites when caught.  I have heard of people finding sulphite-free prawns, otherwise leave the prawn shells out.


Veloute (Cream Sauce)

Serves 600ml
Allergy / Intolerance Amines, Artificial Addititives, Artificial Colours, Egg, Glutamates, Preservatives, Salicylates
Suitable for RPAH Elimination Diet - Low Chemical / Failsafe
Meal type Condiment, Ingredient
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Warm
By author Lucinda Macdougall
Veloute (Cream Sauce) using stock


  • 60g salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons plain white flour
  • 1.25l home made stock (refer to basics page)


  • 1/4 cup cream


1. Bring the stock to the boil then set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepna melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir firmly to make a smooth paste. Keep stirring and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat if it starts to colour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
3. Put the butter and flour back onto a low heat and whisk in half the stock until you get a thick paste. Add the rest of the stock and keep stirring until it is smooth and thick.
4. Allow the sauce to come to the boil and then simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it's too thin cook for a bit longer. If it's too thick add a bit more stock.
5. For a richer sauce, stir in the cream.
6. Use while still warm.


Low Chemical / Failsafe

Refer here for home made stock recipes.


 Coming Up Next Time: Banana Slice

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