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Converso Fish Pie


The recipe for this fish pie was not mentioned in the records, but it is regarded as one of the many ways conversos were identified and denounced. It was very much part of the culinary practices of the converso Jews of Mexico and Brazil, and was generally eaten during the feast of Yom Kippur, to break the fast.


Makes 7 small pies


Prepare the Dough


Beat the eggs, and add flour and salt. Add the soft margarine (or oil). Mix all the ingredients together. Knead the dough for five minutes until even and smooth.


Cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prepare the Filling


Meanwhile add the olive oil, garlic, and chopped onion to a pan. Fry for three minutes until golden.


Add the fish and sauté for five minutes at medium heat. Transfer to a big bowl to cool.


In another bowl, mix the grated cheese and two eggs. Add salt and black pepper. Then, add the fish mixture.



Roll out the dough between two pieces of Gefen Parchment Paper until it is a tenth of an inch thick (a couple of millimeters). To prepare the first individual pie, cut out a circle with a round cookie cutter (two inch/five centimeter diameter, or in any case larger than your pie dish). Grease the pie dish, lay the first disk of dough in it and raise it around the edges to the top.


Add in the filling, leaving some room at the top. Cut out another dough circle and cover the top of the pie. Flatten the edges. Do the same for the rest of your small pies. Once finished, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Turn on the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Take your cold fish pies out of the fridge and put them on a tray. Brush them with egg wash and prick the top with a knife. Once the oven is hot, cook them for 25 minutes.


Wait until the pies have cooled to remove them from their molds.


Reprinted with permission from Sephardi: Cooking the History by Hélène Jawhara-Piñer (The Academic Studies Press, 2021). Click here to purchase.