Colder days are upon us as is the need for warming, soothing meals. Alaskans are notorious for various ways to prepare salmon, and one of my personal favorites is Salmon Pie. This savory Alaskan tradition was originally developed during the state’s gold rush when flour was first traded within the Last Frontier. Miners would trade lumps of gold for potatoes to stay healthy and fed, and with a shortage of sweet ingredients, the miners created the Salmon Pie. The pie consisted of a flaky crust (flour and fat), and was filled with rice, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and, of course, plenty of salmon.
This hearty dish would not only fill the miners’ bellies but help fuel them to battle the elements to find gold. These ample pies have long been a tradition of the campfire cook who creates meals using the same large cast iron pot.
I have seen this pie made in a pie pan, casserole dish or free formed into hand pies. Choose whichever presentation you prefer. I recommend baking the salmon whole to capture all the flavor of the fish. It also provides both sides of the salmon to stack with Alaskan-grown vegetables including sweet carrots, soft fresh cabbage, crunchy cauliflower, Lacinato kale and caramelized onions. Soften the veggies by cooking them in a skillet to reduce the moisture and ensure you do not have a soggy dish in the end. Then you will wrap all of these nutritious ingredients into a paleo-style grain free crust.
1-2 sides of salmon (approximately 1.5 pounds before cooking)
2 large carrots, peeled, sliced, sautéed and cooled
¼ cabbage, shredded, sautéed and cooled
Four (4) stalks of kale chopped, sautéed and cooled
½ onion caramelized and cooled
Option to add a sliced and steam potato of your choosing
For the Crust:
2 cups fine ground almond flour
4 tbls Coconut flour
1 cup Tapioca flour
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 cup or 2 sticks cold butter cut into quarter inch pieces
1 egg to 2 depending on the size of eggs you have
Mix together all dry ingredients and try to make sure they are completely combined; Almond flour has a tendency to clump and it will cook unevenly.
Then you can use a food processor to cut in the butter or a pastry cutter, pulse the food processor until the butter is in pea size crumbles.
Next add your egg starting with one at a time, pulse your dough several times if the dough comes together quickly, you will not need the additional egg.
Cover the dough and let chill for at least one hour the tapioca needs time to absorb the fat and moisture.
Once the dough has rested and chilled you can roll it out, I used 2 sheets of wax paper and sandwich half of the dough to make the base.
Roll the dough to the size of one of the sides of salmon so that you can lay it down and have ½ in of dough to the edge. Dough should be ¼ inch think. It will help if you lay this dough right onto the parchment covered baking sheet.
On top of the salmon layer put the chosen prepared vegetables, then you may add the second side of Salmon.
Roll out the remaining dough and lay on top of your collected ingredients, press gently the top and bottom pieces together until the Salmon and vegetable are sealed in.
If you have any remaining dough, you can cut shapes and lay them decoratively on to the pie and seal them with a brushing of egg.
Bake your Salmon pie in the oven at 350 degrees on the middle rack for 22 minutes or until your dough is golden brown.
You may serve your pie warm or chilled, depending on your preference.