Well in our house this is a pie, a grand old recipe that’s been passed down ooh at least one generation and a classic for making on a meat-free Good Friday. However, flicking through Pippa Middleton’s book (I don’t own it, er honest, I just like to surreptitiously leaf through whenever I’m in a bookshop) and I noticed her Salmon and Prawn Pillow, which is pretty much exactly the same as this but with fancier fish. So without further ado, I present my tuna fish pillow. I expect the call from Waitrose magazine any day now.
I was going to write about this one anyway because it needs a white sauce, which is actually a pretty easy thing to make, indeed it’s one of the few things I can make by eye, but seems to scare people. You melt about 40g of butter and then stir in the same amount of flour (a handy wooden spoonful). Once all the flour is incorporated into the butter you have a roux. Then you add milk, a splash at a time, making sure each lot is completely mixed in before adding the next one. Keep adding milk like this until you get the right saucy consistency, probably between 500 and 600ml. If you worry you’re going to have no milk left for tea, use half water. As long as each lot of liquid is absorbed before the next one is added it should never get lumpy, and if it does turn the heat up a bit and stir like billy-o.
Once you’ve got the sauce, add two tins of tuna, the juice of a half a lemon (traditionally an irretrievable pip will fall in at this point. Think of this like the sixpence in a Christmas pudding) and some salt and pepper. Hard boil two or three eggs as well (if you’re unsure about this – Google it).
Then get a pack of puff pastry, the 500g blocks, not the ready rolled one which only have 300g of pastry. Cut it in half and roll out one half to a baking tray size, flour a baking tray and lay it on. Then spoon your filling on, leaving about an inch of pastry all the way round, place the chopped up boiled eggs on top of the sauce in a pattern which makes you happy and roll out the second half of pastry, slightly bigger than the first. Brush some egg round the exposed edge of pastry and place the second sheet on top. Fold over the edges and crimp them together a bit to secure them together. Make two or three slashes in the top layer of pastry and brush over some more egg. If you have any pastry trimmings, you can cut them into whimsical shapes and stick them on too.
Stick in a hot oven (220C) for twenty minutes till the pastry is risen and golden. Goes well with peas. This makes enough for about 6 servings.
Now I’m off to make pom-pom chicks out of yellow wool. No Easter is complete without them according to P-Middy