This page is being established mainly to bring to the notice of pork pie makers, that Bill Whicker, Sydney NSW Australia, has developed and built a hand operated pork pie crust press and happily look forward to your enquiries, secondly, to share with you, not just my own recipe and methods, but my own ideas, knowledge and discourse on the subject of pork pie making.
It is compact, hand operated and doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to purchase, at present it can handle any size up to 6 inches in diameter, (150mm), straight sided or angled.
It is an especially designed vertical action press and it is believed that for domestic use, it is unique in the world, we have probably, most likely, an Aussie first here. I do not lay claim to this being an invention, rather an innovation and adaptation of our friend, the great Greek philosopher, 'Archimedes', Syracuse - Sicily, who discovered the 'Order of Lever's', one of his many gifts to mankind, wasn't so long ago, try (circa 287 - 212 BC)...!
But until it is disputed, I do believe that this hand operated vertical action pie crust press, is unavailable outside these shore's, what do you say, 'Go Aussie go', yes, my sentiments also. I will be publishing more as time goes by, you can reach me by gmail or my primary.
Click here to email to my secondary...(firstname.lastname@example.org)...
Prototype Mark VI. (August 2006)
In the following comment on how we make and what ingredients we use in our pork pies, it should be taken on board and remembered, that there is a great deal of flexibility for you in how you go about making and baking your pork pies, what suits us and those we bake for, may not suit you, so if you feel the need to make changes, then do so and find what you are most happy with, an example is the choice of meat and it's preparation, whether to use cured or uncured meat, the difference is that cured meat is subjected to 'brining', soaked in a salt and water preparation for about a fortnight.
To dice or to mince it,.? We use cured and we dice it, our reason for using cured meat are, we like to see a pink colour not grey, (I am aware of what gives it the pink colour, (I believe they call it 'Salt Petre').
Dicing the meat does entail some time and labour as opposed to mincing, but it's nice to see that scrumpious jelly or jello through the meat as well as around it, (Jello), an Americanism, for heavens sakes, how could jelly be anything else but jelly..!, still a rose by any other name is still a rose. never could understand why our American cousins would want to change the English language, after all it is their heritage and birthright, maybe they just like to be that little bit different..!), they certainly got ripped off with there gallon when they made it shorter, an imperial gallon of water weighs 10 lbs, I think you will find that an American gallon weighs a fair bit less..! Still Australians can be pretty funny too, they tend to call any one that has red hair, directly to them, 'Blue', or about them, 'Bluey'. Try going into a 'pub' in say Adelaide, South Australia, ask for a 'pint', (an Imperial pint=20ozs) you will be served a 'schooner' known the length and breadth of Australia as a 15ozs glass..! Seems strange when you consider that more English settled in 'South Australia' than anywhere else...!
It really helps if you have a partner in crime in this business of pork pie making, my daughter Julie and her family confess to being great munchers of this delicacy.Julie and I, once a fortnight set aside a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon to restock that pie larder, but first it's off to 'Stocklands' to shop and pick up anything that we require for our baking session, we seem to have settled for one particular Butcher who sells his pickled hands of pork for about 4 dollars a kilo, whereas it's double that for the uncured variety, so you could say, we are driven somewhat by the economics of the situation, Oh we intend to use other cut's,but bye the bye.
Before we get to the busy part of preparation, I would like say a few words on pie tins, these can be purchased of course, tinned metal or alumnium foil, they can also be hand made, by that I mean utilised from existing machine made containers, this is where a hacksaw, snips or a strong pair of scissors come in handy, haven't got a hacksaw,.! never mind, try a serated knife out of the cutlery drawer.
What makes our pie press come into it's own, is it's precission, it's centralling system makes for bottom and wall thicknesses to be precise and even, this is brought about by the simple expedient of providing a fixed 1/4 inch dia', pin about an inch high, affixed to the base board, the base of the tins and internal mould (plug) are centrally drilled, so everything then is self centering. (Our hot water crust pastry thickness, I try to keep between a 1/4" and 5/16"), of course that is dependant on how the molds are made.
One particular container I have found most useful, is the coffee tin, only it is not tin at all it is made out of cardboard, ah, but if you look inside you will see that it is lined with foil, worried about the cardboard burning?, mine seem to have survived a few bakings..!
With the 4 inch dia', ones, you can get 3 useful bake tin's if you wish, the top is the best part, after taken from the oven, you simply pry off what is now the bottom (the sealed lid) and push the pie out, the middle section, you have no bottom for..? well you have 'snips' or strong scissor's haven't you..!(photo' graphic's pending).
P.S. Charges to post this item are quite costly, plans and specifications can be obtained for a nominal cost of $10.00.
Come take a look see A Mind Visit To Oz
.....(To be continued).....