National News

National News is brought to you by a partnership between Crux and RNZ News 

Upper crust: Hanmer's $50 crayfish pie

Jun 12, 2024

A small pie shop in Canterbury may have just set a record for the country's most expensive pie.

A gourmet crayfish pie, created by PJ's Pies in Hanmer Springs, will set you back $50.

The first batch sold out, co-owner Jim Bratschi told Nights.

PJ's Pies supply supermarkets out of Hanmer Springs all over the South Island, but Bratschi and his partner, both Swiss-trained chefs, wanted to create something a little different.

So what goes in this gourmet pie? Kaikōura-sourced cray, Bratschi said.

"So, we take very fresh crayfish out of the sea from Kaikōura and transport it to Hanmer Springs.

"If I filled that pie just with crayfish, it probably [would] have to have double the price tag."

Creamy mashed potato and leek was used as a base, he said.

"And we turn the shells into a bisque - a crayfish sauce with cognac and white wine and herbs and spices."

The crays were cooked layered in the pie topped with "obnoxiously crispy pastry," he said.

The price tag was seemingly no deterrent to his Hanmer Springs regulars.

"We could have sold another 10 to 20 pies. We had to take orders for people to come back, which is a good and a bad thing. I would have liked to sell more than I did, but tomorrow morning [Saturday] the first people that show up at the shop will be lucky."

Inspired by the success of the crayfish pie, Bratschi is already cooking up new ideas.

"I'd like to do something with white truffle, and maybe have a slow-cooked wagyu beef with white truffle, and some 100-year-old port infused onion relish to top it off with."

Main image (Supplied/PJs Pies): PJs Pies in Hanmer Springs made the limited-edition pie for King's Birthday weekend. 

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux