Pie lovers would know the Barrengarry General store. It has been displaying the bold claims of ‘The World’s Best Pies’ on its roadside sign just outside Kangaroo Valley for many years. We had in fact been here a few times before, and they do indeed have good pies. After visiting some 20 bakeries in the Southern Highlands I was looking forward to comparing my previous PB (Pie Best) against some of the splendid pies already tasted along this long and winding Pie Trail.
Technically, Kangaroo Valley is not in the Southern Highlands but instead the Shoalhaven region. Creators of the Pie Trail no doubt saw sense that a small diversion to Kangaroo Valley would add much prestige to an already world-class pie trail. I was quietly cursing these creators as it meant a full 42.2 km marathon of extra running was required to reach the valley of the roos!
On our visit, Erin got talking to the owner as she waited for me to descend down the escarpment. The pastry chef Chu has been making pies here for over 15 years after arriving in Australia from his native Japan. Together with his wife Irene they have now been running the Barrengarry General Store since 2013. In peak season, which is most the year, Chu rarely gets more than a few hours sleep to keep up with the demand for pies. Each pie is made fresh on the day, such is their dedication to this pie making business.
- Distance: 39km
- Pie Running Time: 4 hours and 10 minutes
From a long list of pies, we chose the traditional Australian. This is a mincemeat pie and the one I had committed to memory as being particularly good on previous visits.
- Pies: Traditional Australian mince meat.
- Pastry: The pastry, we have to say is world class. Arguably the best there is. The base seamlessly wraps around to also form the pie lid like a completely sealed unit. You wonder how the meat ever got inside.
- Filling: Savoury mincemeat with onion and flavoured with mixed herbs. It is a whopper and you really need a fork at the end to scoop up the overflow of mince.
- Cost: $6.90
- Sauce tax: 30 cents