Barramundi, potato and fennel pie with gluten-free...

Barramundi, potato and fennel pie with gluten-free pastry

There are few things that beat a good pie, and here in Australia, the humble pie is something of a national dish.
The history of the pie stretches back to Ancient Egypt, where they invested a dish close to what we call a pie today. IN fact, a recipe for a chicken pie was discovered on a tablet believed to be carved before 2000BC.
The Ancient Greeks are credited with creating pastry, and the Romans took the concept one step further. They would make a pastry of flour, oil and water to cover up meat as a way to preserve the juices and flavour fo the filling – it wasn’t, however, intended to be eaten.
These day the crumbly, warm pastry wrapped around a delicious filling is the perfect food that can be dressed up and down, depending on the occasion.
However, for as many as one in 70 Australians diagnosed with coeliac disease, this pastry-wrapped delight is off the menu. Linked to multiple long-term health problems, coeliac disease can only be treated with a strict gluten-free diet.
Thanks to the rise in gluten-free bakeries across the country, however, this is starting to change.
Cherie Lyden from Sydney’s Wholegreen Bakery takes us through how to make a barramundi, potato and fennel pie with a twist – first you’ll start off by making your own gluten-free flour blend.

About Cherie Lyden:

Cherie Lyden stands in the kitchen at Wholegreen Bakery
Before founding Wholegreen Bakery in 2014 Cherie Lyden spent years working as a nutritionist and in food.
After having her second child she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and then later latent coeliac disease.
Passionate about food and the lack of gluten-free food available, Cherie decided to start a bakery where everything is made from scratch with real ingredients and is 100 per cent gluten-free and coeliac accredited.
Cheri has gone on to become a brand ambassador for Coeliac Australia, and continues to work to advocate for the coeliac community.

Barramundi, potato and fennel pie with Cherie Lyden from Wholegreen Bakery


To make the gluten-free plain flour blend
850g brown rice flour
100g potato starch
50g gluten-free cornflour
7g xanthan gum

To make the pastry
440g gluten-free plain flour
2.5 teaspoons xanthan gum
280g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon salt
85g sour cream
1 large egg at room temperature

To make the pie
1kg savoury decadent shortcrust pastry
1 large egg yolk

For the filling
400g small waxy potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, white end only, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon capers
75g frozen peas
125ml gluten-free fish stock
125ml single (pure) cream
500g barramundi fillet, skin off, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper


To make the gluten-free flour blend
Sift all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk together to ensure they’re well mixed.

To make the pastry
Add the flour, xanthan gum and salt to a food processor and whizz together for 10 seconds.
Add the butter and mix for 30 seconds until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the sour cream and egg and mix for 10 seconds until it comes together and forms a ball.

Turn the soft dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap well, flattening the dough to a disc approximately 2cm thick.
Rest the dough by chilling it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight.
Once rested transfer to a floured surface and leave it for 2-3 minutes to soften.
Using a floured rolling pin work the dough by rolling it out, folding it back on itself and then rolling it out again.
Repeat this process until it’s about 2cm thick.
Rewrap and chill until needed.
When you’re ready to use the dough unwrap it and leave it on a floured bench for 2-3 minutes to warm up. Roll out as required, flipping it over and re-flouring the bench as necessary.
*Be careful not to over-flour the pastry, as this will dry it out.

To make the filling
Place the potatoes in a stockpot or large saucepan and cover with water. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until just cooked. They should be firm but not falling apart.
Drain and leave to cool, then peel with a paring knife and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek and fennel and saute for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, capers and peas and saute for a further 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the stock and cream and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly.

Add the potatoes, fish and dill, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for a further 1 minute, stir until everything is coated in the creamy sauce.
Remove from the heat and spoon into an airtight container. Place this in a refrigerator to cool.

To assemble the pie
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease a 30x20cm pie tin with butter. Place the chilled and pre-worked pastry on a floured surface.
Divide the dough in half and roll out each half into a rectangle approximately 5mm thick and a little larger than the tin.
Let a pastry rectangle gently fall into the tin, allowing the pastry to drape slightly over the top edge. Lightly press the pastry into the shape of the tin.

Fill the pie to the top with the cooled filling, and then take the remaining pastry rectangle, brush it with a little egg yolk around the outer edges and place it over the pie, egg side down.
Gently press the edges of pastry together around the top of the pie to make sure they stay stuck together.
Using a skewer make a small hole at least 2mm wide in the centre of the pie. Brush the top with the beaten egg yolk.

Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking.
Remove when golden and leave to sit in the tin for 5 minutes.

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