Welcome to my retrospective journal of our trip earlier this year to New Zealand.
Celia of Sydenham Bakery in Christchurch New Zealand, is showing me around the working areas of the bakery.
I tell her that pies are a firm favourite of ours but that since they are not an item that features in Dutch cuisine that I’ve been attempting to make some myself at home, with limited success to date.
One problem that I have is that I can’t find little metal pie forms in the Netherlands, so Celia gives me an address of a catering supplier in Christchurch where I can buy some of the little forms to take home with me.
I did pick some up, they look exactly like these ones do and they are fabulous to use but you have to be very careful because the top edge is very sharp:
…that’s deliberate because once you have lined your pie form with pastry, filled it and placed the top on, all you have to do is to roll your rolling pin over the pie form and the sharp edge cuts and trims any overlapping pastry for you and results in a lovely uniform edge.
I can however attest to the fact that these sharp edges will also cut very nicely into fingers whilst doing the washing up, so baking these with kids would have certain limitations.
The bakery of course bake hundreds of pies per day so their pie forms have been welded into joined sheets so that dozens can be baked in commercial ovens at a time.
Of course I know there’s no chance of scoring a recipe but after talking to Celia I realise that one of the things I’ve been doing wrong with my pies is that I’ve been using shortcrust pastry for both the top lid and the bottom shell, when it should be shortcrust for the bottoms and puff pastry for the lid on the top.
Naturally not having a proper pie form also means that it’s no surprise that my versions haven’t been cooking very evenly and that I haven”t yet got past the problem of the dreaded “soggy bottom” in my pastry making, although I did read in one of my cookbooks that baking pies on a rack closer to the bottom of the oven should help with this problem too. In the meantime I’m in pie heaven… just look at the pie production going on here! From production to the pie warmers out in the shop front so that customers and come and buy one that’s already hot… Fabulous!