Fairview Homestead | Philda’s favourite fish pie
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Philda’s favourite fish pie

Our son Eckart is a spear-fisherman of note. His dad and brothers are not too shabby as sea-hunters either.

When the Benkenstein men bring home  fish we eat fish for three days in a row. This is one  recipe that I can honestly claim as my own and it works perfectly with frozen fish too.  I’ve even substituted fresh fish for tinned tuna and it is still fool-proof – let’s face it: every fish brought home represents 3 that ‘got away’! This is just one of those recipes you are going to write and thank me for sharing…

Ecksty, the fish whisperer

Eckart, the fish whisperer



Alex with a shad caught on the Breede River

Alex with a shad caught on the Breede River

Crust:500 ml cake flour

20 ml baking powder

2 ml salt

125gram butter

150 ml milk


Sieve the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then crumb the butter into the flour  with your fingers. Add the milk and use a metal spoon to mix it to  dough consistency. Cover with cling-wrap and leave to rest in the fridge.

Michael with his small cob

Michael with his small cob

About 2 cups of stir fried vegetables: I fry  a sliced onion, about half a cup of celery, half a cup of carrots that are cut in thin circles. Then I add baby marrow, green-pepper,pineapple – whatever I find in my vegetable basket …

Add about 2 cups of flaked fish. Any fish will do – I have even used tinned tuna and still managed to turn out a pretty decent fish pie.

Half a cup of coarsely grated cheese (Cheddar, but hey – whatever you find in your fridge) and half a cup (125 ml) Creme Fresh, 7ml hot English mustard.
Mix together, but do not over mix. Add some seasoning to taste and because we love dill  with fish , I add a good 80ml of finely chopped fresh herbs. (For a variation you can add lemon zest and parsley) Chill in the fridge.

About 2 hours before your guests arrive you roll out the dough on a flour dusted surface  into a big rectangle. Put your filling down the center and fold over the sides. Roll it onto a baking tray with the sealed edge to the bottom, cover with cling and refrigerate.


Half an hour before you would like your guests to sit down for dinner you preheat the oven to 200ºC. Cut 2 cm slices through the pie, brush with milk or egg white and bake for about 25 minutes. Do not over bake!


Serve with green salad and crispy white wine.



Philda Benkenstein

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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