Herring Roe Tartlets


  • 6 oz your favorite pie pastry
  • 8 oz soft herring or shad roes
  • Good dash of lemon juice or white wine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 tbsp light cream
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • Bread crumbs, fried in butter until crisp


Line 12 greased tartlet molds with pastry. If possible, chill the pastry cases before cooking. Prick the pastry with a fork and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until very lightly browned. When the tartlet shells are cooked, allow them to cool slightly, then remove them from the tin.

Put the roes in a saucepan with just enough lightly salted water to cover them. Add a good dash of lemon juice or white wine, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Bring the liquid to a simmer and poach the roes very gently for 5 minutes. Drain, and reserve the liquid.

Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and mix well. Gradually add cup of the liquid in which the roes were cooked and stir over a gentle heat until smooth. Add the cream, cayenne pepper, and a little salt if necessary. Continue cooking over gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Fold the roes into the mixture and divide among the tartlet shells. Sprinkle a little grated cheese and fried bread crumbs over each tartlet. Place in a preheated oven at 375°F and heat through for 5 minutes.