Tasmanian scallop pies have to be one of the best pies around. Whenever I’m in Hobart I can’t walk past the Harbour Lights Café without calling in for a pie. Even back here in Gerogery West I can visualise peeling back the paper bag to reveal a piping hot square of pastry and the contents within… steaming molluscs from the ocean beds of the east coast of Tasmania.

Scallop Pies - Tasmanian Specialty

Scallop pies: specialty in Tasmania (photo by Roger Findlay)

Tasmanian Favourite: Scallop Pies

by Roger Findlay

Did the scallop pie originate in Tasmania? We will never know. But what we do know is that the pie is also a favourite of the Irish. The scallops aren’t always encased in pastry either. They are sometimes served like a shepherd’s pie where potato is used as the topping.

With Saint Patricks Day fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to include a recipe of the Irish Scallop Pie. Washed down with a pint of Dublin Guinness (or two to be sure, to be sure) I can think of nothing better.

Scallop Pies - Irish Guinness

Irish Guinness (photo by Roger Findlay)

Scallop Pies Irish Style

  • 8 large scallops
  • 300ml milk
  • salt & pepper
  • butter or margarine
  • flour
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • medium sweet white wine or sherry
  • 500g mashed potatoes (pre-prepared)

Cut scallops in half and simmer in milk for 15 minutes. Strain and save liquid. Heat a knob of butter and stir in a tablespoon of flour. Stir for 1 minute. Gradually add saved milk, stirring to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Add half a cup of sweet wine or sherry and the scallops.

Once hot, transfer into an ovenproof dish. Cover the contents with the mashed potato ensuring that the edges are sealed. Prick with a fork. Dot butter over the surface and bake at 175C in a pre-heated oven for 20–30 minutes or until the top is turning brown.

Guinness With Scallop Pies

Allow to cool slightly before serving with a freshly poured pint of Dublin Guinness. If you’re not much of a cook, I would recommend you order some Tasmanian scallop pies from the Ross General Store (Bakery & Tea Rooms). Failing that, just buy the Guinness but make sure it’s from Dublin and not the sweet version that’s brewed under licence here in Oz.

Scallop Pies - Ross Bakery

Scallop pies: Ross Bakery (photo by Roger Findlay)