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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.
CORNISH PASTY RECIPE: Method
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
- 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
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Layer each of the vegetables in the centre of each round of pastry.
- Place the meat layer on top of the layered potato/onion/swede.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Cornish Pasty With Frozen Veg?
If you're wondering if you can make a Cornish pasty with frozen veg, the answer is that you should defrost the veg before you put it into the Cornish pasty - simply because it would make the cooking time longer. You can defrost it in a microwave, or in a bowl of hot water.
A Cornish pasty with frozen veg can make sense - you can even freeze the vegetables in pasty portion packs to add to your meat!
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!