Thanks, that's the kind of suggestion I was looking for. This is perfect except that the leaves on my grape vines are still too small to roll anything with them.
Keep on bringing them on, mkay!
Krischuns like fish I tell ya:
My Stargazy Pie
For the shortcrust pastry:
200g Plain flour
50g Fridge-cold butter
50g Dripping or lard
Pinch of salt
Ice cold water
For the filling:
5 eggs (plus 1 for the glaze)
3 large mackerel (pocketed)
Mustard and/or horseradish
A generous handful of chopped fresh herbs (parsley and chives, in my case)
6 to 8 rashers of good streaky bacon, rind removed
1 large onion, finely chopped
285ml tub of double cream
Salt and pepper
Sift the flour, add the salt, chop the butter and dripping into small cubes and combine in a large bowl until you have an even, crumb-like consistency. Start adding the water a tablespoon or so at a time, working with your hands until you have a tactile, springy dough. Wrap it up in clingfilm and stick it in the fridge for at least half an hour until you need it.
Meanwhile hardboil the eggs (8 minutes), cooling them under running water before peeling and roughly slicing. These can be spread over the bottom of a lightly butted pie dish that will fit the fish quite snugly. Season each pocketed mackerel inside and out with salt and pepper and spread about a teaspoon of your chosen mustard around the cavity. Add a sprinkling of the herb mix too and lay the fish out so that their heads overlap the edge of the pie dish. The exact arrangement will depend on the relative size of your fish and dish: smaller fish would work well fanned out from the middle with their heads over the side, in which case it would be best to remove the tails altogether; mine were a bit bigger so I opted to lay them side by side, alternating their direction, and allowing both the heads and the tails to stick out.
Chop the bacon into small strips, fry it off for a minute or two to add a little crunch and colour and sprinkle over the fish, together with any fat from the pan. Sprinkle over the chopped onion and the rest of the herbs, pour over the cream and finish with a little more seasoning.
Roll out the pasty to a shape a little larger than your pie dish and cut away a thin strip all the way round the perimeter. Moisten the rim of your dish with a little water and press the strip in place, reserving any leftover trimmings. Then moisten this strip with an egg-wash made of a beaten egg and a little water and carefully lay the pastry lid over the top. Work your way around the rim, trimming and crimping where you can and carefully work around the fishy protrusions. A few strategic snips in the pastry will help here. Make a generous cross in the middle of the pie and add some decoration made with the leftover pastry if you like. (Thanks must go to Alice, here, for her excellent stars.) Finally brush the whole surface liberally with the egg and water mixture and pop into a 200C oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry looks suitably golden and appetising.
Serve directly from the dish in strategic wedges, as many as possible including a head or a tail. Your guests can toss a coin to see who gets what.