Recently I was fortunate enough to head down to Tasmania on a 2 day business trip. It was my first trip to Tassie and although I had heard so many great things, and so I was super excited to try all the seafood Tasmania had to offer along with some amazing wine and beautiful cheeses. Not only did all the food live up to my expectations but Tasmania as a whole blew me away! Friendly locals, amazing food, fresh air, spectacular art, delicious wine, and breath taking views! Whats not to love!? Oh and did I mention the scallop pies yet?? They are a Tasmanian delicacy; perfectly cooked scallops in a creamy white sauce with just enough veggies to counter balance the rich sauce and all incased in flaky golden pastry! Drooling yet, I know I am. I’ve never come across these pies anywhere else in Australia, so rather than moving to Tasmania just to satisfy my cravings I’ve decided to re-create it at home. In this recipe I have used one large square pie tin (25x25cm), but you can use whatever you have a home whether its a large round tin or muffin tins for individual pies and as everything is pretty much cooked before going in the oven the cooking times aren’t really going to vary that much. I have also used some local Tasmanian spice mixes that I brought back with me which you can get online Tasmanian Kitchen Pantry, however I have also suggested alternatives so please don’t let the spice mixes I have used scare you off. Now before I get started on the recipe if you would like to read more about my trip to Tasmania here is a link to my blog: Tasmania Tripping Now lets get cooking!
1) Preheat oven to 200C. Spray oil all over your pie tin and set aside until needed.
2) On a lightly floured surface roll the shortcrust pastry out until it measures at least 30x30cm (35x35cm is ideal). Then gently place the shortcrust pastry in the pie tin and pop in the fridge for 5 minutes so the pastry can relax (this will help stop the pastry from shrinking).
3) Once the pastry has rested prick the base all over with a fork, cover with baking paper and fill with baking beads (I usually use rice or dried beans) and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
4) Remove pie tin from the oven and carefully lift the baking paper and blind baking filling and place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Blind baking is essential in making sure that your base is cooked through and doesn’t go soggy. Once it has baked remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
5) Heat oli in a large heavy based saucepan on a medium/ high heat. Place onion, carrot and celery in the saucepan and cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots have soften. Add your garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, next deglaze the saucepan by adding a splash of white wine.
6) Once all the white wine has evaporated add the butter and let it melt, making sure that you keep moving the vegetables so they don’t stick to the bottom and burn. Once the butter is foaming add the flour and stir so everything is well coated and cook for 2 minutes.
7) Carefully pour half the milk into the saucepan while constantly string to stop lumps from forming. Once all the milk is incorporated and the sauce starts to thicken add the rest of the milk, again constantly stirring. Cook the sauce until it slightly thickens then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
8) Arrange the scallops in the shell of your pie then gently pour the creamy sauce over the top of them. Next brush the egg wash around the boarder of your puff pastry, then place over the pie with the egg wash facing down (the egg wash will help the pastries stick together). Brush the puff pastry all over with the egg wash and sprinkle some salt and pepper then place in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and flaky.
Remember the secret to the perfect dish is to cook with love (and a little va va voom) xx