Food! Stargazy Pie a Delightful Cornish Recipe. See why it's Star Gazy!

Mousehole Magic

Delicious Star Gazy Pie
Delicious Star Gazy Pie
The Ingredients for Star Gazy Pie
The Ingredients for Star Gazy Pie
Ready for the Oven
Ready for the Oven
Preparing for the Light Show at Mousehole Beach showing the Lighted Star Gazy Pie on the cliff front and a floating Dragon
Preparing for the Light Show at Mousehole Beach showing the Lighted Star Gazy Pie on the cliff front and a floating Dragon
Another Version of this Wonderful Pie ready for the Oven
Another Version of this Wonderful Pie ready for the Oven

More Mousehole Magic

Mousehole in Cornwall is tucked away in the very bottom western corner of Britain. The locals pronounce it mowzel It is a traditional fishing village where men go out in small boats to catch Sardines, Herring and Mackerel. A long time ago, there was a famine in the west country and no one had any thing to eat. It had been too rough to go out fishing A brave man called Tom Bawcock defied the odds and went out fishing. He brought back enough fish to feed the starving people and for ever more, December the 23rd has been called Tom Bawcock's Eve. To make the small catch go further, the fish were baked in a pastry case with the fishes heads poking out up at the stars, hence Star gazy Pie. The man was revered for saving the inhabitants lives and his festival is an annual attraction in Mousehole complete with illuminations and depictions of Star Gazy Pie in lights. The Ship Inn in Mousehole serves Star Gazy Pie on every Tom Bawcock's Eve

Star Gazy Pie Recipe

Short crust pastry, enough to make a cover and base for your chosen pie dish

Seven different kinds of fish ( This is traditional but it is usually made with Herrings, Sardines or Pilchards And need not be seven if a smaller pie is desired.)

Large chopped onion ... Salt and Pepper to taste.... Mustard or Horseradish

3 tbsps of Chopped Parsely .... 3 hard boiled Eggs.... 3 Rashers Streaky Bacon

Egg or milk to glaze pie.


Method

Clean and gut the fish leaving the heads on. Line your chosen dish with short crust pastry.

Stuff the cavity in the fish with a mixture of chopped parsley mixed with mustard or horse radish sauce. Arrange them in the piedish with their heads pointing sky ward. Pack the gaps between the fish with chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped onion and chopped bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the dish with short crust pastry binding top to bottom by brushing the edges of the pastry with milk or water. Make the fish snug in the pie and glaze the top with beaten egg or milk.

Place in a hot oven at 400 F for half an hour. If the fish are large, reduce the heat to 300 F and cook a further fifteen minutes.

Serve with ceremony and Enjoy!

Another Mousehole Resident waiting for the Scraps!........All photos courtesy Flickr
Another Mousehole Resident waiting for the Scraps!........All photos courtesy Flickr

More by this Author


Comments 45 comments

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

OMG....the crust looks devine!.....the fish heads on the other hand....OMG......bet it tastes great though! Thanks for sharing! I'll have show hubby this one. I'm sure he's heard of it.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Yes I bet it's better to look the other way when it's being served to avoid the fishy gaze! Thanks for the comment, KCC


lrohner profile image

lrohner 7 years ago from USA

Holey moley! I may not be loving this dish, but I am SO loving the interesting recipes, history and folklore that you are sharing. Thanks!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks, Irohner, glad you are enjoying them. I think the reproachful gaze may take a little courage to overcome!!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

You would think that a guy who likes raw or pickled herring wouldn't be so squeamish, but it looks really spooky. Love the history lesson. This pie sounds easy to make, and I will gladly try it when it comes across my table. This was a fun read.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Alexander, Glad you like the hub. i agree it looks very spooky even for someone brought up on the nursery rhyme " Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie". The British Isles is full of weird food.....nothing wasted !!!


RVDaniels profile image

RVDaniels 7 years ago from Athens, GA

What a delightfully odd and interesting dish. Cornwall is so full of interesting things. Could you do a hub about Welsh food too? You are rapidly becoming one of my favorite Hubbers!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the compliment, R V Glad you are finding the hubs interesting. I'll have a bash at Welsh food too.


Kushal Poddar profile image

Kushal Poddar 7 years ago from Kolkata,India

The world around us is full of such interesting things that consists of life.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Too true,Kushal, it is a precious place.


rb11 profile image

rb11 7 years ago from Las Vegas

I have to say I've never seen this arrangement before. Is there a particular wine or drink that is severed as a tradition with this dish?

Regards


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Good old warm British Ale I would suppose! Any ideas yourself? Thanks for the comment rb11


rb11 profile image

rb11 7 years ago from Las Vegas

Seafood generally is complemented with a white wine, Riesling (not from U.S.) is  what I have had at times, but with such a salty flavor you might be right on with an Ale.

Regards


Iðunn 7 years ago

those are so cool looking. I love the little crayfish one and the idea of using seven different fish.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

You really need to collect all these wonderful recipes for a book -- the mix of lore and food is enticing.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

rb11 that is an excellent suggestion for modern times, thank you.

Hi Iounn. It is an unusual looking dish with the emphases on the looking!! :)

Teresa, thanks for the suggestion and comment, it had crossed my mind,


Judy 7 years ago

I may not try cooking this - but love the story. :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Judy, It is a bit daunting, isn't it. You will just have to go to Mousehole to try it! Thanks for the comment.


Jodi Hoeksel profile image

Jodi Hoeksel 7 years ago

Gypsy, I love the unique dishes you present to us! This one is an eye-catcher for sure! lol I have much to learn about the local cuisine and you are doing a brilliant job teaching me! Thanks.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Jodi, Glad you enjoyed reading about this unique dish. Hope all is going well for you in Wales. Thanks for the comment


Litany Notch profile image

Litany Notch 7 years ago from South UK

I love Mousehole and luckily don't live too far away and get to visit often - they have some of the best fish restaurants in the world. Have you ever seen the film of the Mousehole cat?


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Well, I'm wondering what the WV hillbilly I married is going to have to say about fish in a pie looking at him. Probably won't be repeatable and I'll have to depend on it tasting good to convince him, but is definitely looking like a LOL.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

This one's a classic! The Cornish really are a unique people.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Litany Notch thanks for the comment. I used to fish off the quay in Mousehole years ago, a magical place. I haven't seen the film. I shall seek it out .

Hi Jerilee, I'd love to be sitting at the table to see his face! :)

Hi Amanda, thanks for stopping by. The Cornish are a very special lot!


Zollstock profile image

Zollstock 7 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

Tom Bawcock reminds me a little of St. Nikolaus .... taking care of the needy and all! While I grew up with German "Rollmops" I don't think I will try my hand it this recipe ... the whole raw fish thing ;-). Great read and photos, though!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the comment, Zollstock. Hey raw fish is all the rage here, sushi rules! It's the eyes that get me with this dish!


Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

Reminds me of the last time I made fish sauce from leftover trout heads.

Still, it might taste good.

I'll have to sleep on this one. :-)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That sounds brave! Sweet dreams Joy!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

Excuse me, but your pies are staring at me...I think I am now officially "pie-eyed", :D. What a fun hub. Also loved the wildflowers - perhaps better than the pie-eyes.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That is so funny, RedElf. Strange dish isn't it? Glad you like the flowers too.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Very interesting meals! i have never seen anything like it!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Amazing isn't it? There is no end to human ingenuity! Thanks for stopping by Michael.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Interesting, but I'd have to leave off the fish heads! lol


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Me too! Interesting story though! Thanks for stopping by.


Malta Cat 6 years ago

I would serve this to some one down on their luck, just to say 'things are looking up'!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

What a brilliant idea! Things were looking up for the original recipients of the pie too. Thanks for stopping by.


bargeemike 4 years ago

Stargazy pie has the heads pointing up like that, so the oil and flavour from the heads drain back into the pie, and are not wasted. Tom Bawcock is alost certainly a mythical character. But, seek out and read " The Storm Cat", it's a childrens book, but it's great!


bargeemike 4 years ago

Halbee, leave out the heads and you miss half the point of the pie!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for your interesting comments bargeemike. I have read that book. it is very good.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Love your recipe and thank you for including a picture of the stargazy pie. I needed a site to link to featuring not only a recipe but a good picture of the pie. All the big sites give recipes but either no pictures or ones that are so amateurish I would be embarrassed to link to the page! :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for your kind comment Gordon. It's quite a spectacular pie and the story behind it is very interesting too. It would make a statement dinner party dish. Wouldn't it?


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

It certainly would. Thanks again for the link opportunity - I've used it :)


Food goods 3 years ago

What a amazing meal!!I would say that's really funny,how imaginative the maker is!


Food goods 3 years ago

What an amazing meal!!I would say that's really funny,how imaginative the maker is!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Gordon, let me know how it turns out complete with comments from your incredulous guests!

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