Genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe: Make Your Own Pasties

Genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe

The Cornish are very proud of their Cornish Pasties - and keeping them genuine and authentic is a constant battle as people across the country make hundreds of other pasties and call them Cornish pasties. But they're not! They're just pasties, or pasty-like.

Cornish pasties can be a healthy meal too; made with fresh ingredients, there's no added sugar, you're in control of any salt - and they use fresh ingredients and vegetables, so they can count towards your 5 a day!

Here's a genuine Cornish pasty recipe, you can make your own classic Cornish pasties easily at home or, this is a Cornish pasty slice recipe if you don't want to go to the trouble of crimping! It is a simple recipe for a pasty because there's nothing fancy or difficult at all about it!

CORNISH PASTY RECIPE: Method

Makes: 4 traditional Cornish Pasties
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 Minutes

There are just two parts to making Cornish pasties: making the pastry, mixing the ingredients together. Simple! (Tip: you could even buy ready-made pastry if it's something you'd rather not do).

Cornish Pasty Pastry

  • 400grams plain flour
  • 100grams butter or margarine, chilled and cubed
  • 100grams lard, chilled and cubed
  • A pinch of salt to season

Cornish Pasty Filling

  • 450grams beef skirt or chuck steak
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 200grams swede or turnip, peeled and sliced thinly - rutabaga in the States
  • 200grams potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
  • A knob of Cornish butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper to season

Note:the vegetables should be sliced thinly, not cubed. Cube them if you like, but a genuine Cornish Pasty will use sliced veg.

Genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe: Cornish Pasty by Warrens Bakery. cc-sa-3.0
Genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe: Cornish Pasty by Warrens Bakery. cc-sa-3.0 | Source
Genuine Cornish Pasty: Cornish Pasty Shop Sign, Newlyn, Cornwall.
Genuine Cornish Pasty: Cornish Pasty Shop Sign, Newlyn, Cornwall. | Source
Genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe: Use Chuck Steak
Genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe: Use Chuck Steak | Source

CORNISH PASTY RECIPE: Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Make your Cornish Pasty pastry first, then put it into the fridge to rest while you prepare the filling. Pastry is better if it's had time to rest and chill - it's also easier to roll out.

CORNISH PASTY RECIPE: Pastry

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt.
  2. Add the butter, margarine and lard and use your fingers to work the flour into the fat until it is like fine breadcrumbs (you can use a food processor to do this).
  3. Sprinkle cold water onto the mix, just a tablespoonful at a time, mixing it as you go until you have a stiff dough. You have to go slowly or you'll end up with too much water in the dough, which causes a dry pastry.
  4. Flour your worktop and knead the dough gently for a minute or two, then wrap it in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes. Pastry stored like this will still be fine for a day or two, so you can make up a batch, or cook ahead.

Making Your Cornish Pasty Filling

In a Cornish pasty, all the ingredients are put into the pasty raw, they cook inside the pastry once in the oven.

  • Peel and finely slice your vegetables. Slice the beef into small, thin pieces.


Building The Mother of Cornish Pasties

  1. Remove your pastry from the fridge and cut it into quarters, rolling each one in your floured hands so they form four identical sized balls of dough.
  2. Lightly flour your worktop and roll out each dough ball so it is round and about 3-4mm thick. Using a dinner plate, placed on the dough, cut out a circle. Keep the scraps for decorating the top of the pasties if you wish.
  3. Layer each of the vegetables in the centre of each round of pastry.
  4. Place the meat layer on top of the layered potato/onion/swede.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Brush the edges of the pastry with water before folding one side right over, making a D-shape. Proper Cornish pasties are crimped at one edge, not in the middle at the top.
  7. Crimp the edges together, folding it over piece by piece to seal the edge. Prick the pastry to let the excess steam out, not too much though as the ingredients cook inside the pastry.
  8. Place all four pasties on a baking tray, brush with an egg wash, or some milk and cook in a pre-heated oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes, then turn down the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and cook for a further 30 minutes, until the pastry is a golden brown and the filling cooked through.
  9. Check your Cornish pasty is cooked by putting a fork in the middle to find out if it is tender. If the pasties need a bit longer, then give them another 10 minutes... if the pastry is looking a little over-cooked then simply cover them with foil.
  10. Remove your hot pasties from the oven and put them to one side to cool down before eating.

As a Cornish pasty slice recipe, simply lay out the pastry in a rectangle, pile the filling on to one half, then simply fold the pastry over and seal. A Cornish pasty slice recipe is no different from how you make a pasty, it's just the shape that changes!

Proper Cornish TV Interview. Watch the crimping at 3:34

Storing and Reheating Cornish Pasties

You can store your pasties, sealed, in the fridge for a few days. You can microwave them hot again. Or, you could refrigerate the uncooked pasties in a sealed box for 2-3 days until you're ready to cook one fresh.

CORNISH PASTY HISTORY

Hundreds of years ago, Cornish miners would take Cornish pasties to work with them, down in the tin mines. If the mine were close to the village, then the miners' wives might even deliver them hot at lunchtime, but most of the time the miners would eat their Cornish pasties for lunch while still underground.

The thick crimped edge enabled them to hold the pasty with their dirty hands, yet still eat their lunch fairly hygienically (although they'd still have had dirty faces/lips, so I'm not too sure how well that worked!). The crimped edge of the Cornish pasty would be thrown away.

Cornish pasty pastry had to be strong enough to withstand being taken to work and possibly even dropped without breaking open.

It's said that traditional miners' Cornish pasties would have meat at one end and a sweet filling at the other end. The wives would put a piece of pastry on the top to mark out which end they should start at.

Cornish Pasty Recipe Tip:

You can freeze Cornish pasties raw. Many Cornish pasty makers send out unbaked/frozen pasties to bakeries to bake/sell on their own premises.

Make a batch and freeze them raw, so you can bake them on demand.

Cornish Pasty Recipe Cheats

  • If you want to cheat, then why not buy ready-made, or frozen, shortcrust pastry.

For many people, pastry takes too long, or they're simply not that good at it - so why not cheat and just buy a pack of shortcrust pastry to start with.

Cornish Recipes: Ancient & Modern, Edith Martin

In 1929, Edit Martin gathered together the favourite and family recipes of Women's Institute members in Cornwall - the book was published, and has been republished many times since, and is still a much sought-after volume. The whole book covers breads, chutneys and just about every other recipe you could want, but one section is dedicated solely to real Cornish pasty recipes.

The Best Cornish Pasty In Cornwall

If you've ever had a Cornish pasty, when in Cornwall, or through one of the franchise companies across the world, please leave a comment below and tell me which Cornish pasty you've tried and how good it was.

Let's find the best Cornish pasty in Cornwall!

In the meantime, why not pop off now and make this simple recipe! Pasty is on the menu!

More by this Author


Comments 30 comments

scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 7 years ago from South Wales

Great pasty hub, earner. I'll link it to my version of a pasty, not Cornish of course, more Welsh, but we're all Celts together, ain't we?


earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes, all celts together!

I didn't know there was a Welsh pasty :)

I will have to find a Welsh pasty now and try it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

OMG, you have my mouth watering. I've only had two Cornish pasties in my lifetime and they are sooooo good. As I believe I told you in another hub, I had my first at the pasty place right there on the harbor in Padstow. I have tried to reproduce them here and I can get the inside right, but my crust still sucks. I've tried the premade crust and tried to just do it like a fruit pie and it turned out ok, but just not the same. You can bet that's the first thing I'm going to buy once I get back over to England!


earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hey KCC

You should try to make your own Cornish pasties again - slice the veggies thinly, not cubes! And use raw ingredients. The meat needs to be cut up small - almost a "minced by hand" consistency.

And the layering is important. Layer the potato, then the turnip/swede, then the onion. Top off with the chuck steak and season, then just flip the pastry over, crimp and bake.

The ingredients cook in their own steam and juices.

Oh dear, now you've got me wanting a freshly made Cornish pasty!


scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 7 years ago from South Wales

Welsh pasty. It's just my version of a corned beef pasty with leeks in it.


dragonbear profile image

dragonbear 6 years ago from Essex UK

Oh - what can I say! Food of the gods! I have family in Plymouth in SW UK (for the benefit of your non UK readers) and there is a company there called Ivor Dewdneys (you can Google them, they have a web site) - amazing pasties, always queues - but it's just inside the Devon border. This is a great recipe; thanks - I've been brought up on the Cornish pasty, and know a good one when I see it!


sue  6 years ago

well wot can i say ... in my opinion once u have tasted a 'proper cornish pasty' no other will compare... living in cornwall most of my life, with cornish parents and grandparents the first thing to learn was how to make a 'proper' cornish pasty... and of course the dreaded by some 'crimping' of the crust.. lol this comes with practice..!!! and of course the traditional way is to make 'shortcrust' pastry and not 'puff' .. i prefer to use a cut of beef called 'skirt' and not chuck steak, cut small but definitely not minced......


Gareth Stevens 6 years ago

I have used the recipe 3 times now,,,,,as im not bad i have in the oven, chicken and beef jalfrezi pastys, this smell is delightful in the house, thanks for the tips and let u know how they get on....


Janice 6 years ago

I had my first pastie at the Kings Cross Station in London. Very rib sticking but I enjoyed it very much. I made Cornish pasties for the first time today. My second batch turned out the best. I used more lard than butter and made sure that I chilled the dough well. My British husband was thrilled for a taste of home.


earner profile image

earner 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

That's great Janice. They're so 'easy' to make because you're not having to actually cook the ingredients and get ingredients spot on. They cook themselves!

Glad you enjoyed your Cornish pasties :)


Norm Loukinen 6 years ago

I'm from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, where the miner's pasty was popularized long ago. Pasties were made regularly at home when I was growing up, and remain a family tradition. All pasties I've tasted, homemade or commercially available, have had cubed ingredients. Some have mistakenly been made with too-lean meat. We've always eaten pasties with a pat of butter on top, while some prefer a bit of catsup. I always ate the crimped part of the crust first, my favorite part, mixed into the hot ingredients. I would relish a trip to Cornwall to feast on the "real" thing.


Lauren 6 years ago

Great Recipie. When you are filling the pasty try holging one half up with a rolling pin and layering the othe side up with beef and veg. Then fold the othe pastry over. I find this easier and less messy.


grammarpolice 5 years ago

I grew up eating pasties. Both sides of my family come from GB and many of them were miners. Many years ago I made them for show and tell.


Alex Warren 5 years ago

In my younger days I played Lawn Bowls and once a year we had a day called "Cousin Jacks" day.The lady bowlers and wives,would bake Cornish pasties.I always tried to get a pasty baked by the late Gwen Holten,who came from Cornwell.She baked and sold Cornish Pasties for extra income.This article reminded me of her and her most tasty Cornish Pasties.


earner profile image

earner 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Alex

That's a lovely story! Thanks for sharing it with us. It's lovely when we're transported back to great days from the past.

Gwen Holten would no doubt be pleased you remember her so warmly.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi earner, A genuine Cornish Pasty recipe I am so looking forward to trying this, many thanks for sharing, bookmarking and voting up.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi earner, A genuine Cornish Pasty recipe I am so looking forward to trying this, many thanks for sharing, bookmarking and voting up.


Marj 5 years ago

I know that original Cornish pasties are crimped at the side; but who made the pasties with the crimping across the top?


earner profile image

earner 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Marj, if pasties are crimped on the top they are viewed as Devon pasties. There was a Cornish pasty maker that were crimping theirs on the top and they got quite upset when theirs were deemed to not be Cornish pasties as they didn't match the specific criteria protected by the EU protection document.

I hope that helps.


Duncanswi 4 years ago

Tried the recipe and found that the pastry fell apart when I was folding the pasty. Still tasted great but pretty messy.


Larry Horkman 4 years ago

Can you freeze the pasties raw? Or do you have to cook them first and then freeze them?


earner profile image

earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Larry

You can freeze Cornish pasties raw. In fact, many Cornish pasty makers send out unbaked/frozen pasties to bakeries to bake/sell on their own premises.


carolyn 4 years ago

We used to have an English pub in our town that had "Cornish" pasties, so it said on the menu. The couple who owed the pub were from England. Their pasties were crimped across the top, flaky pastry, cubed beef with potatoes and onions, and they served a small pitcher of gravy on the side.


Ann Cornwall 4 years ago

My grand-mother made a pasty for Queen Victoria.....and in her later years when beef was bred with out vertually any fat her secret ingredient was to put a knob of cornish cream in before crimping...i still use this method today it certainly adds to the flavour and make a lovely moist pasty


Anna 4 years ago

I cooked a batch pasties of from this genuine Cornish pasty recipe - and they've turned out great. Perfect for my trip down to the coast later today! I've made small ones, so they are more of a picnic nibble!

It was an easy recipe to follow - and as everything's gone in raw there's no fiddly mixing and nothing difficult to do! Ideal.


Sarah from Birmingham 4 years ago

weve just come back from a hoilday in Devon,we drove down to visit Perron porth,we bought some cornish pasties from the take away on the beach,they were very tasty.We then visited on a different day & went into the seaside town of perron porth ,we bought some more pasties from a little shop,that claimed they were the best.oh my they were sooooo tasty !!!!!.my partner will remember the name of the shop & will let u guys no .They were amazing !!!!!!.


earner profile image

earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

When in Perranporth I tend to pick up a hot pasty from the butcher that's a few doors down from the Post Office. It's hard to try other outlets once you've found one you like.

I'm glad you found some great pasties!


GetitScene profile image

GetitScene 2 years ago from The High Seas

I ate pounds of Cornish pasty when I was a kid and still eat it whenever I find it.


Yvonne 2 years ago

If you freeze the pasties raw, how do you cook them? Do you have to defrost, then follow the cooking times, or can you cook them straight from frozen? Then, what gas mark and for how long?

My nan used to make delicious Cornish pasties and she would freeze them. But sadly, she is no longer here for me to ask her advice.


earner profile image

earner 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yvonne - yes you can freeze them raw. The suppliers that make pasties in Cornwall to supply to shops up country freeze them raw.

To cook Cornish pasties you can either defrost them in the fridge, then cook them for the same amount of time as if you'd made them fresh (I'd defrost them in the fridge then leave them out for 10-15 minutes while the oven heated up).

If you cook Cornish pasties from frozen they take longer - how long they take will depend on your oven efficiency, which shelf you put them on, how thick your pastry is, how full/domed your pasty is, so it's something you'd need to check/test for yourself. If they seem to be cooking/browning too quickly, yet the centre is still cold, then put some foil over them to prevent the pastry burning.

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