I have been overwhelmed with responses to the launch of the search for Brisbane’s Best Pie.  One of the most informative was from a long time mate of mine Laurie Blacka.  Unbeknownst to me Laurie was a Pastry Cook many years ago and he has given me the best guide I could get for judging the pastry of a meat pie. 

Laurie advises: 

You will no doubt be aware that there can be either a short crust base and top or short crust base and flakey puff top.  Whilst neither top is a concern to me, the base is! Now, an indicator commonly used to judge the quality and correct cooking of the pie crust (base) is to lift the pie out of the foil case (should it need one) and should you be able to do so without the pie falling apart, your fingers going through, or being soggy, you may have a contender in your grasp! Should you be able to tap the bottom of the pie and get the slight tapping sound and can devour it from one side to the other without it falling apart you could have a cracking pie in you hand. 

I will be using Laurie’s advice to help me judge the pastry of each pie I try because if 17 years in professional services has taught me nothing else it has taught me always trust the advice of experts.