Pure Pies – oh my!

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Pure Pie, 383 Bay Street, Port Melbourne. Phone: 9041 5004

The email offer of a free pie went barely noticed among the usual blizzard of spam and inane, clunky PR approaches.

But then Consider The Sauce spied the handsome pies in the display cabinet at a very groovy and fine Kensington cafe.

Upon hearing of their source, I lose little time in making my way to Port Melbourne to redeem my email offer.

Pure Pie, as well as being a pie factory, is a cool cafe space situated at the city end of Bay Street.

As such, there is a relaxed vibe quite different from the retail/hospitality hubbub further towards the bay.

And there’s heaps of parking capacity!

 

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Along with my free pie – braised beef with red wine and rosemary ($8.90), the most establishment’s most popular I am told – I also get a pork, apple and fennel sausage roll ($5).

The sausage roll is good, with dense, firm sausage meat though – I feel obliged to say – not much by way of apple or fennel.

My pie is something else.

It’s tall, with fabulous pastry.

The filling is rich and flavoursome, with lusty beef chunks high in number.

Worth $8.90?

Yes, very much so.

 

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So Impressed am I, that I buy a couple more pies to take home – chicken with corn, bacon and leek; and beef with Guinness and cheddar.

Bennie and I have them for dinner a few night’s later.

 

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Wow!

Served with great green beans dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, these pies constitute a meal for which we’d happily pay $20+ in a pub or restaurant.

Look at the meatiness of our beef number.

How often does a chook pie seem all glutinous gravy and not much else?

So we’re very happy to eat a chicken pie that has multiple meat chunks packed with flavour.

I like Holly and Michael and their products so much, we’ve tentatively set a date for a Consider The Sauce event early in 2015.

Stay tuned!

Check out the Pure Pie website here.

 

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Heather Dell

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Heather Dell, 7 Anderson St, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 1721

Heather Dell makes one realise how over-used and mis-used the phrase “old school” has become.

Instead of being used to bring credibility to lame pop culture manifestations, it really should be restricted for use when describing joints such as this fabulous Yarraville pie and cake shop.

Heather Dell is the very essence of old-school.

It starts with the signage, frontage and funky old-time wooden screen door.

It continues with the interior – racks of, yes, “old-school” cakes, slices and pies – and the welcome.

It goes on with the vintage mixers and other equipment – none of your new-fangled metrics here!

The vibe continues with a product line that includes neenish tarts, mince pies and much more.

“Old school”, too, are the production methods – Heather Dell’s goodies are made by hand and with a whole lot of love.

*****

Oh, sweetie! Clockwise from top left: Apple turnover, hedgehog, boozy Christmas mince pie, neenish tart, coconut tart, sprinkle biscuit, swiss blueberry tart, swiss lemon tart,  regular mince pie. Centre: Jam slice.

TASTE TEST

Apple turnover: OK, but could’ve done with some more spices.

Hedgehog: Pretty good, but only a little classier than your average hog.

Boozy Christmas mince pie: Fantastically yummy!

Neenish tart: Stuffed with butter cream, this was too rich for Kenny, but Bennie loved it.

Coconut tart: Head of the class! Moist, coconutty and not too sweet. Kenny’s fave.

Sprinkle biscuit: Despite an aversion to hundreds & thousands and the like, Kenny liked this. Two crunchy wafers, plain but good.

Swiss blueberry and lemon tarts: See neenish tart (above).

Regular mince pie: OK, but not a patch on the boozy pie (above).

Jame slice: OK, but a little anonymous in such company.

*****

Then there are the prices – you pay for quality, but the most expensive sweet item at Heather Dell is the vanilla slice ($2.60). Prices for the likes of swiss pineapple and swiss blueberry tarts (both $2.20) and jam slices ($1.90) are significantly below those demanded at more trendy and high-falutin’ bakehouses.

When I bowl up to witness the daily pie-making session, the first thing proprietor Keith says to me is: “We’re old school!”

Indeed.

Heather Dell has been in Keith’s family ever since his maternal grandparents and grand-aunt bought an existing business in 1951.

He says they inherited many of the recipes, which have been somewhat modified over the years. The biggest change is in the use of vegetable shortening. In 1951 and thereabouts it was animal dripping all the way!

Heather Dell produces about 100 of their meaty, hearty pies ($3.80) a day, along with a handful of family pies ($8.90). Mind you, Bennie and I can scarf a family pie in about five minutes flat, so we presume they’re working on a rather narrow definition of “family”.

The meat is brought in from Keith’s butcher and cooked fresh each day. He sniffs dismissively when mentioning those who use “pre-mix meat” in their pies.

Many thanks to Keith, Carol, Millie and Ines for letting me watch them at work. It was a hoot!

Below: Heather Dell’s Pie-Filling Fella Performs His Daily Ritual