Award-winning Mountain High Pies strikes again

For years they've been cleaning up the Great Aussie Pie Competition, and now they are making their mark on Australia's Best Pie and Pastie Competition, run by the Baking Association of Australia.

Mountain High Pies were first-time entrants in the late August competition, taking home nine awards in the competition held at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, due to the coronavirus lockdown in Melbourne.

The Wentworth Falls business took out the overall Australia's best gluten-free pie award for their lamb shiraz pie, and a gold medal.

"We didn't know what to expect [being first-time entrants]," said baker Mike Fuller. "We are quite happy with the results."

The judges said the lamb shiraz pie had "blown their mind and the pastry was sensational," Mr Fuller said.

The baker said being diagnosed as a coeliac earlier this year had inspired him to suggest to boss Damian Smith that more gluten-free pies be added to their gluten-free range.

"Fifteen per cent of the menu is now gluten-free," he said.

And there are plans to transition some of the existing menu to gluten-free pies in coming months, using a special gluten-free pastry.

Mountain High Pies' vegetarian pie chilli con corn, and their peri peri chicken pie also picked up gold medals. The plain mince pie, plain chunky beef and the smoky barbecue flavoured beef pie all collected silver medals and the gourmet big brekkie pie and gourmet minted lamb and pea pastie took out bronze medals.

Their popular brekkie pie has a mix of sausage, home-made baked beans, chorizo and bacon topped with mashed potato and a poached egg in Hollandaise sauce. It's been taking out awards since 2015 and was inspired by roadworkers working on the Great Western Highway who kept asking for bacon and eggs.

The peri peri chicken pie was only on the menu last summer, due to the seasonal availability of the fresh mango salsa that tops the pie. Mr Fuller said they were considering whether to bring it back this summer.

He was also pushing Mr Smith to keep the smoky barbecue beef pie with its caramelised onion topping on the menu permanently.

The business makes up to 800 pies a day. The bakers described the recent weekend where the Upper Mountains got a light dusting of snow as "absolute chaos." Queues were so long that some people drove around the carpark and kept going.