We all carry in our minds a picture of the perfect pie: its glowing golden crust, its mouth-watering aroma of baking pastry and rich beef filling drifts across the inner landscape of Australian psyche. It is irresistible.
The object of our desire is round, oval, square or even oblong. The pastry lid is probably a little flaky but not so much that the flakes will break away and stick around the mouth. The base is firm and beautifully smooth to the touch, lighter in colour than the top, the pastry shorter and more solid.
The sides rise from a corner curve and the pie sits neatly in the hand snuggled alongside thumb and forefinger, the base resting on the long middle finger to hold it steady.
Slowly the true pie lover raises it to the mouth, breathing in that glorious aroma to the trembling taste buds, selecting just the spot to take that first gorgeous bite that will open up the little treasure house of flavour and…oh, the wonder of it, that first taste of luscious minced beef and gravy lapping round the tongue and mixed with the buttery pastry that almost melts in the mouth. Oh heaven…
Distinguished Australian author Robert Macklin, a pie lover of many decades, lifts the pastry lid of this very Australian icon to reveal the history and affection Australians have toward the great Australian pie.