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Sotterley Oyster Pye

This is one of the many great recipes you will find at Chesapeake Bay Cooking which specialises in shellfish and seafood recipes as well as the famous Maryland Stuffed Ham recipes.

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This is a traditional Maryland recipe which comes from the Great American Seafood Cookbook. This pie is actually named the Sotterley Oyster Pye after the historic Sotterley Mansion in Maryland where the dish was served at the lavish banquets held there. Oyster pie is wonderful, sounds unusual and is, but tastes great. Nice with a fruity white wine. The recipe was recreated by William Taylor a Maryland caterer and historian.


Pie Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup chilled unsalted butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice water

Béchamel Sauce:
2 to 2-1/4 cups milk
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Liquor reserved from oysters
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Generous pinch of ground mace

2 dozen small (yearling) oysters, drained
3 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled and thinly sliced
1 can (14 1/2 oz) white or golden hominy, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground white pepper



  • Combine flour and salt in large bowl and shave fine slices of butter onto the flour and toss with fork to mix.
  • Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of the ice water while tossing with fork until pastry is moist enough to form into a ball. Add more water if necessary.
  • Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Roll out two thirds of the pastry, cut to 12 inch circle and line bottom of 10 inch tart pan (type with removable bottom).
  • Roll remaining pastry into 11 inch circle for top of pie and place on baking sheet.
  • Chill crusts for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
  • Cover bottom crust and top crust with foil and weigh down with baking weights or dried beans (keeps flat).
  • Bake both crusts for 8 minutes then remove foil and weights and continue baking for 8 to 12 additional minutes uncovered, until golden brown, then cool.


  • In small sauce pan, scald 2 cups of milk with the bay leave over med heat. Let steep (off heat) for 5 minutes then discard bay leaf.
  • Melt butter in heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat being careful not to brown.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
  • Pour in the warm milk and continue cooking, whisking constantly until thickened.
  • Whisk in the oyster liquor and additional milk if necessary to make a thick but pourable sauce.
  • Season with salt, white pepper, cayenne, and mace to taste.
  • Remove sauce from heat and add oysters, stirring gently to mix in.


  • Cover bottom crust (still in tart pan) with egg slices.
  • Sprinkle hominy over the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the hot oyster sauce spreading evenly to edge of pastry.
  • Dust with additional mace.
  • Gently set the top crust in place and set the pie on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400ºF (200 C). until pie is hot through, (12 to 15 minutes).
  • Be careful not to brown the pastry or over-cook the oysters.
  • Remove from oven and remove the sides of tart pan.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Chesapeake Bay Cooking