‘Everybody loves a fish pie! This is our version.’

Perched on a beautiful Scottish island measuring just two miles across, Café Canna is one of the remotest restaurants in Britain. But it is worth the travel time where it is justly famous for its sensational seafood. And now you can recreate their culinary magic in your own home!


Cafe Canna: Recipes from a Hebridean Island
By Gareth Cole
Published by Birlinn Ltd


Langoustine and smoked haddock pie 

Everybody loves a fish pie! This is our version. 

We pared it down to our favourite parts of the filling – the smoked haddock and the prawns (and replaced these with plump local langoustine). We have a smokery nearby that does incredible peat-smoked fish – their haddock is gorgeous. 

It’s optional, but if you’ve read the rest of this book you’ll know that we believe in a pie that has pastry sides and bottom. And we see no reason why fish pies shouldn’t either. You can make the pastry and the stock the day before. 


Makes 5–6 pies 

(our tins measure 11.5 x 3.5cm) 


For the pastry 

290g soft butter 

650g plain flour 

½ tsp salt 

130ml water 


For the mash 

1kg floury potatoes 

(e.g. Maris Piper or 

King Edward) 

50g butter 

25ml milk 


For the stock 

langoustine shells 

(left from the filling) 

½ onion (leave skin on and 

no need to chop) 

1 celery stick, roughly 


1 carrot, roughly chopped 

(no need to peel) 

1 tbsp tomato puree 

1 bay leaf 


For the filling 

50g butter 

50g plain flour 

500ml langoustine stock 

100ml white wine 

small bunch of parsley 

200ml double cream 

2 anchovies, finely chopped 

250g fresh haddock in large 

bite-size chunks 

250g smoked haddock in 

large bite-size chunks 

salt and freshly ground black 


1–1.2kg whole langoustine 


To make the pastry, in a food mixer (or with your hands) combine the butter, flour and salt. If the butter is not easily malleable, microwave for 20 seconds at a time until it is. If it melts completely, the recipe will work just fine. Mix until very rough breadcrumbs have formed – if using your hands, rub the flour into the butter between thumb and fingers. 

Pour in half the water and continue to mix, then add the rest. At this point it should have come together into a robust dough that would hold its shape if cut in half. If too wet, add more flour and mix; if too dry, a touch more water. 

Remove from the bowl/machine and knead for a minute or two on a clean surface. Once it has come together into a smooth ball, you can use it directly, but it is preferable to wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour (or up to two days). If the dough becomes too hard when cold, microwave it quickly before use. 

Next, create the mash. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, then boil them until soft but not falling apart. Whilst cooking, heat the butter and milk. Drain the potatoes and either pass them through a ricer (this is best) or mash them – then add the heated butter/milk and mix thoroughly. 

Cook the langoustine in boiling water and peel (see p. 94, for step-by-step instructions), reserving one whole for each pie for garnish. 

Use the water they were cooked in, as well as the shells, to make the stock. Place the langoustine shells in a pan and just covering with the reserved water. Add the other stock ingredients and simmer for an hour, then strain. 

To make the filling, melt the butter in a large pan, then stir in the flour and continue to cook for 2–3 minutes. Gradually stir in the stock, then add the wine and finely chopped stalks of the parsley. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cream, chopped parsley leaves, anchovies, haddock and seasoning. Reserve the langoustine for the next step. 

To assemble the pie, line the pie tins with greaseproof paper and pastry in exactly the same way as the beef pie (see p. 178). As these pies will have a mash rather than a pastry top, neatly cut around the top of the tin for a smooth, circular top. 

Half fill each with the fish mixture, then divide the langoustine between the pies, laying more fish sauce on top. 

Heap a pile of mash on top of each pie, going right to the edge. Optionally, create a hole down through the middle of the pie and place a reserved langoustine in it, so that it appears to be bursting out of the top. 

Bake for 30–40 minutes until the mash is starting to go golden. Serve with a simple side of veg. 


Cafe Canna: Recipes from a Hebridean Island by Gareth Cole is published by Birlinn Ltd, priced £25.00.

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