I was reminded of Pie in the Sky by a NQN reader Maria who also has her own great food blog Foodie Wanderings. She spoke of a Pie in the Sky near her in Melbourne which made me recall the one in Sydney, well the outskirts of Sydney, in Cowan. With a gorgeous view, we had driven past it on our way back from the Hunter Valley and various other excursions, always meaning to go in but never quite making it there.
This weekend, we thought we'd take a drive to Cowan for a change of scenery and a sample of some pie and view. It's a day where the sun interchanges with rain and we hope that when we get there that we'll have some sun.
We're in luck today and whilst it's not gloriously sunny, it's still pleasant enough outside to sit outdoors and enjoy the view. There is a front kiosk as well as an inside area where you can order more substantial meals (pies with chips, Devonshire teas). There are 18 savoury pie flavours on offer today ranging from Steak & Kidney, Beef, bacon & Cheese, Curried Beef, Chicken & Asparagus, Chicken & Corn, Chicken Satay, Lamb & Pea and Lamb, Chili and Garlic as well as sausage rolls. They appear to be out of vegetable pies although their flyer does include them. The pies are all $4.50 and the sausage rolls $2.30. I choose a Lamb, Honey & Rosemary pie as well as a Beef Burgundy pie.
Behind the counter are fruit pies (all $2.20) in Apple, Apricot, Blueberry and Peach flavours as well as a new flavour, Apple & Rhubarb. I choose a Peach pie and a Blueberry pie.
_Lamb, Honey & Rosemary pie $4.50 _
We bring our precious haul to an outdoor table, and after some careful photo taking in which one of the young staff inquires "Wow, you like the pies that much?" to our photo taking and when we explain he seems pleased and says "Cool thanks!". I try the Lamb, Honey and Rosemary first. Inside are chunks of tender lamb and a sweetish sauce courtesy of the honey which is not overdone, just right. The Rosemary flavour isn't particularly strong but the filling is delicious and the pie welcomingly warm.
_Beef Burgundy pie $4.50 _
The Beef Burgundy pie is next and it's rich and hearty with a deep dark brown and burgundy sauce. The beef is in thick soft chunks and the burgundy wine gives it an extra richness. The base of the pastry for this is very soft, indeed the filling has gone all the way through to the bottom. It's a change from the harder bases that one can get in pies.
I discover that my husband and I like the exact same part of the pie best-the part of the puff pastry lid where the filling meets the pastry, you know the layer of pastry that is still white and thin but plastered with sauce and deliciously pliable whilst the layers above it are golden. We need a name for this delicious part and we wonder if there is one for this layer.
It's time for the fruit pies, the small rounds of sugar topped sweetness. The pastry here is thicker sweet shortcrust and it reminds me of pies I had when I was young. There isn't a great deal of filling in these but the blueberry is particularly good, it's not too sweet but there is no tartness to the berries at all. Ideal if you don't like your fruit pies too sweet. The peach pie is a bit of a disappointment for me, it seems like it is made out of tinned peaches which doesn't bother my husband but I would prefer fresh peaches.
We brush off our pie crumbs and look around-we've been too busy eating and attending to our pies to notice our surrounding-yes when I'm around food I tend to get tunnel vision. The view is lovely and the place has filled up with all sorts of motorcycle riders as well as the Rural Bush Fire Service workers enjoying a coffee, pie and the intermittent warmth from the sunshine.
Pie In the Sky
1296 Pacific Hwy, Cowan NSW 2081
Tel: +61 (02) 9985 7018
Fax: + 61 (02) 9985 7018
Open 7 days
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday to Sunday 8am-5pm
Visa and Mastercard accepted