Fish Pie with a Gougère Top: Gougère Top


  • 200 ml water
  • 50 g butter, cut into pieces
  • generous ½ tsp salt
  • a few screws of freshly ground black pepper
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 75 g plain flour, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 110 g Gruyère, strong Cheddar or Parmesan, grated


In at least a 2 litre saucepan bring the water, butter and seasonings to a boil. When the butter has melted, shove in the flour all at once and away from the heat beat hard with a wooden spoon. Continue beating until the mixture solidifies and comes away from the sides and bottom of the pan. All the little flour lumps should have gone by now; if not, you’ve probably forgotten to sift the flour and will be swearing rather loudly. The only thing to do now is pass the mixture through a sieve – or you could throw it out of the window and start again.

All being well, however, you can start beating in the eggs, adding the next after the first is incorporated and so on. Lastly, fold in the cheese. Fit a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe a lattice pattern over the top of the fish. If you don’t want to pipe, just spread the mixture over and smooth the top.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes, by which time the top should be golden brown.