Stargazey Pie

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Stargazy pie (sometimes called starrey gazey pie or other variants) is a Cornish dish made of baked pilchards, along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust.
Although there are a few variations with different fish being used, the unique feature of stargazy pie is fish heads (and sometimes tails) protruding through the crust, so that they appear to be gazing skyward. This allows the oils released during cooking to flow back into the pie.

The original pie in the legend included sand eels, horse mackerel, pilchards, herring, dogfish and ling along with a seventh fish. In a traditional pie, the primary ingredient is the pilchard (sardine), although mackerel or herring is used as a substitute. Prior to putting it in the pie the fish should be skinned and boned (except the head and tail), to allow for ease of eating. Along with the fish, the other traditional ingredients are thickened milk, eggs and boiled potatoes.
The tradional pie contained pilchards which are arranged with their tails toward the centre of the pie and their heads poking up through the crust around the edge.
As it includes potatoes and pastry, the pie can be served on its own or with crusty bread, sometimes with vegetables. Other suggested accompaniments are Cornish Yarg, Rhubarb chutney, poached eggs or a slice of lemon.

The dish is traditionally held to have originated from the village of Mousehole in Cornwall and is traditionally eaten during the festival of Tom Bawcock’s Eve to celebrate his heroic catch during a very stormy winter.

The Stargazy pie is sold by local bakeries during the festival and its production is localised in a very small area of production.


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Bread and baked goods

Nominated by:Nigel Akehurst