Thursday, 18 September 2014

Time to be in the kitchen...Cornish Pasty

Pastry week this week on GBBO and hearing that the technical bake was savoury parcels, there's only one recipe choice for this Cornish lass - PROPER Cornish Pasties.

Despite coming originally from Dorset, my Gran embraced the Cornish Pasty and made it her own legendary treat. The men would get a pasty that could only fit into a large roasting tin diagonally, more oblong than semi circle, it would be maneuvered into the tin for baking, using 2 large spatulas and a prayer. when it came to eating it would be cut in half to be able to fit on a plate...each and every mouthful of it would be finished. As children we would get a mini version - 2 pasties to the roasting tray! The crust would always be saved until last, to be dunked in non-traditionally tomato ketchup.

All too often in baking we look to add new ingredients, put our own twist on a recipe, make it our own. But a Cornish Pasty is set in stone - to add or remove anything would make it only a humble pasty - still tasty, but not quite right. This recipe is taken from The Cornish Pasty Association

Take the time with your pastry, it needs structure to be able to hold it's place and you will not be able to roll and shape it if you miss out the rest period. I use a side plate to make six 6" pasties with a small crimp - you could make 4 larger pasties using a dinner plate as your template.


For the pastry;
500g strong bread flour
120g lard
25g cake margarine or spread (not pure butter)
5g salt
175g cold water 

For the filling;
400g good quality beef skirt or chuck steak, cut into small peices. If you can't get hold of skirt of chuck, look for a good quality cut with no fat or gristle that doesn't need slow cooking.
400g firm, waxy potato such as Maris Piper or Wilja
250g swede
200g onion
salt & pepper

Combine the flour and salt with the chopped lard & fat and rub together to form breadcrumbs. Add the water and using a food mixer beat until the pastry combines and becomes elastic. This will take longer than normal shortcrust pastry, I mixed mine for 4 minutes. Bring together in a ball, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 3 hours.

Chop your potato and swede into thin small 1 cm squares and finely dice your onion. Put all three in a bowl, add a generous mix of salt and pepper and mix well.

After the 3 hours rest time roll out the pastry to about a 5mm thickness. Using a plate as your template cut out circles and set to one side.

Preheat your oven to 200C Gas Mark 6.

Put a layer of vegetable mix into the centre of a pastry circle, leaving a 2" outer edge of pastry. Add a layer of beef, add some extra salt & pepper and top with another layer of vegetables. You can really pile on the filling, it will shrink during cooking and you will be left with air pockets.

Bring the edges of the pastry, press lightly to seal and crimp around the outer edge. It's really difficult to explain crimping. Basically you want to bring a small section of edging over itself, secure by pressing down, then repeat. There are lots of videos on You Tube, here's one I found; 

Finish your pasties with an egg or milk wash as place onto baking parchment, or a non stick sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden in colour. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and carefully lift to check the underside. If you have slightly soggy bottoms, turn the pasty over and finish off for a further 10 minutes. Don't worry the pastry will be hard enough to keep it's shape will you have this extra bake time.

Eat fresh from the oven or allow to cool, wrap in grease proof paper and eat cold, preferably outside, on a windswept beach. 

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With Supergolden Bakes


  1. Those look great. I had a total disaster this week so it is great to see how it should be done. x

  2. oooh these look fantastic and as always i enjoy reading about your Gran and her cooking tales. i love that this recipe uses lard in the pastry, my nanny's pastry recipe does too.
    thanks for linking up your proper Cornish Pasty x x

  3. These look lovely, can't beat a good old Cornish pasty :-) x #greatbloggersbakeoff2014

  4. haha love that video! I found crimping videos on you tube too but mine crimped from the left - I'm not sure I could manage it from the right! Cornish pasties are next up on my list - proper job!