Scallop pie…🥧  it’s a desecration in my opinion. No-one loves pastry more than me, but the delicate  Tasmanian scallop should never be interred in a  ‘coffin’, especially not with curry! How it became so popular in the land of my birth is a mystery to me.

Scallop pie does not do this shellfish justice.

Image from

Naturally  I have to back up these contentious statements.  But is there supporting evidence?

During my research I came across an advertisement in the Launceston Examiner back in 1936;


This would be my entry. 😎

Because the paper received over 400 entries the judges’ decision had to be delayed until they could sort them all out. Finally, the recipes were narrowed down to a manageable number.


First prize went to Miss C,  Busby of Culzean, at Westbury. Culzean was a large and beautiful estate. Although  Miss Busby probably didn’t need the guinea, there was of course the honour of winning.

Home of the scallop recipe contest.


Her recipe was for the old standard Devilled Scallops. She added the important hint ‘Scallops should never be allowed to come to the boil as they become tough, and shrink.’ How true.

The recipe was a bit hard to decipher. Here is a simplified version of the dish that appeared in The Advocate a few years later.

I’m not convinced Miss Busby. There’s a lot of strong flavours  competing with the star ingredient.

Among several other recipes that were published was my personal favourite.

Scallops a la Newburg

2lbs scallops. 1 tablespoon each of sherry and brandy, 1 gill cream. 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons butter, salt and cayenne pepper.  METHOD – Heat the scallops in a chafing dish with the butter, and  other ingredients. Season and last of all when thoroughly hot add the beaten yolks of egg, Serve at once.  – Florence M. Eastoe.   Well done Florence.


One of the winning scallop dishes was Scallops a la Newburg.

Scallops a la Newburg

Remember this was a Depression era recipe. You could probably add a bit more grog. 😎


In the 1950s and 60s my mother used to make a mild curry sauce, then drop the scallops in just  a few minutes before serving. Here is a very similar recipe;

Curried scallop recipe.


I don’t remember our family  eating the shellfish any other way and we loved them.

However, I now  prefer my scallops  seared. I thoroughly enjoyed the entree in the following photo, served at a  restaurant here in the Blue Mountains.

Scallop and corn puree entree

Perfect scallops – seared with a corn puree and  bacon garnish.

And were there any PIES mentioned in the newspaper competition? NO! I rest my case.

Scallop pie joke

Surely not made in Tassie!

Against my better judgement, here is a link to a recipe for Tasmanian Scallop Pies.🥧😟

UPDATE – The response to this piece when I posted it to Tasmanian History was so overwhelming that I was interviewed on ABC Radio Hobart.  I had a lot of fun with Lucy, the host of the Drivetime programme. 


  1. Hi Pauline, I enjoyed your recent post about
    Scallop pies. I’m wondering if you have ever
    tried a Banjos Bakery Scallop pie? They are
    really delicious, with 6 plump scallops in each
    pie encased in a light fluffy pastry. You never
    know, if you try one you might be converted 😊

    • Pauline

      Well Wendy, I haven’t tried them, but I’ll remember that next time I’m down there. 😎

  2. Wendy, one of the best I’ve had was 2 weeks ago at Richmond Bakery. I’m a Tasmanian & always looking for the best!

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