Cornish Recipes > Cornish Pasty

How to make Cornish Pasty:







It is a privilege for me to include my Cornish pasty recipe in the Green Chronicle. I was born in Cornwall which is the last county in the Southwest of Great Britain, surrounded on three sides by the sea. It is a wonderful county, steeped in history and legend with breathtaking scenery. Two of its most famous authors are the late Daphne Du Maurier, who wrote the book Rebecca, and Sir Arthur Quiller Couch who wrote under the nom de plume of Q. One of his best known books is entitled Troy Town and is about the sea port of Fowey where they both lived and where I worked for several years. Cornwall was always a comparatively poor county. The main industries were tin mining (now finished), china clay mining, fishing and agriculture; therefore the food had to be nutritious, economical and cheap. The men folk for the most part needed a packed lunch which would travel well, hence the birth of that most delectable savoury the Cornish pasty. I still make my own most weeks, because it is very difficult to buy a shop pasty that would come anywhere near a Cornish person's high standards.

Cornish Pasty Recipe for 4 Pasties (using a six inch diameter tea plate)

To help you make the pasties, I have some pictures showing the process I take to make my pasties. Just click on the links (e.g. Picture 1) and the picture should pop-up on the screen.




Ingredients for short crust pastry

1lb plain flour
1/2 lb either lard hard margarine or butter or a combination of these
pinch of salt
cold water to mix
(see measure conversions for more information)

Method

Rub the fat into the flour but not too finely. I sometimes cut the fat into small lumps. Add the salt and then start adding the water gradually until it works together into a ball without being sticky. Put aside in a cool place.

Ingredients for filling

3/4 lb beef, not stewing beef
raw potato
raw swede (also known as rutabaga or yellow/swedish turnip - see wikipedia)
small onion
salt and pepper
a walnut sized piece of butter

Method

Cut the steak into small pieces but do not mince. Slice potato and swede into thin, small pieces about half an inch across. Chop onion finely. Dust the work surface with flour. Roll out the pastry to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a small plate cut out circles (Picture 1 & Picture 2). Moisten the edge with milk or water (Picture 3) and support half of the pastry nearest to you over the rolling pin (Picture 4). On the other half, put a small layer of prepared vegetables then a layer of beef (Picture 5 & Picture 6). Repeat this once but be careful not to have too much filling which would cause the pastry to burst during the cooking process (Picture 7). Sprinkle sparingly with salt and pepper then add a small bit of the butter (Picture 8 & Picture 9). Sprinkle a dusting of flour over the filling (this helps to make the gravy). Fold the other half of pastry which has been resting on the rolling pin over the filling and squeeze the half circle edges firmly together (Picture 10 & Picture 11). Starting at the right side whilst supporting the left side with other hand, using first finger and thumb turn the edge over to form a crimp (Picture 12 & Picture 13). Repeat this process all along the edge (Picture 14). This will come with practice but you must get a good seal. Brush pasty with beaten egg wash to help with browning process and put a small one inch cut in the centre of the top to allow steam to escape (Picture 15, Picture 16 & Picture 17). Bake in a hot oven 220 degrees centigrade for about 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 160 degrees centigrade for a further 40 minutes. Smaller pasties need less time. If they are browning too quickly cover loosely with greased paper.

I hope this recipe helps you create wonderful Cornish Pasties. I am delighted to say that we now have a Forum on The Green Chronicle and part of it is dedicated to the Cornish Pasty and all things Cornish. I would love to hear your stories and questions and see any pictures that you have.

Gans oll an colon vy,