I had Cornish pasties for the first time last month when I went to a holiday in Cornwall. I loved them, had pasties three times, including once on the harbour. If I was to go to a holiday in Conrwall now, I think I’d have one of these every single day. You’ve might be aware of my love for Cornwall, after my Cornish Coast Cake. So it will not come as a surprise that I was eager to try my hand at making Cornish pasties.
As always, I looked online and I found an original recipe for pasties, described on the Cornish Pasty Association’s website @ www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk. Yes, apparently there is a Cornish Pasty Association.
As usual with pies, I served my Cornish Pasties with mash potatoes and peas. I didn’t have a lot of time to shape the pasties, so I’ve made my life easier by using a dumpling mould. I’ve used it before with hot water pastry when I’ve made the Cabbage pies. Not genuine, but well, the taste is more important than the shape, isn’t it? I might try to make them with their specific shape when I have more time.
Because I used the dumplings mould I made 10. But, if you decide you want to shape them by hand and make them look exactly as a Cornish pasty, then you’ll only get 6 because you need more pastry to create that well known edge.
Another thing to consider is using strong flour as it will make a more pliable pastry. I’ve used a mixture of white and wholemeal flour, as I very often do. It did work out great, so use that for a healthier option. This kind of pastry also needs two types of fat. They recommend lard or white shortening. Of course I’ve used white shortening, because my Cornish pasties were vegetarian. White shortening has a higher content of fat compared to butter, and that gives the flakiness of the pastry. This is a recipe I’m going to use again and again because it’s so delicious. Take into consideration that you will need to leave the pastry in the fridge to harden for 3 hours, but is worth it. I think it can be made in the evening and left in the fridge overnight.
Ingredients for 6 to 10 Cornish pasties:
– 300g strong white flour
– 200g strong wholemeal flour
– 125g white shortening (using palm that was sustainably sourced)
– 125g butter
– 175ml cold water
– 750g onions
– 100g cheddar cheese
– 4 spoons vegetable oil
– 2 tsp paprika
– dried dill
– 1 free range egg
Put the flour in the stand mixer. Tip the two types of fat and some salt. Rub the fat with the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Pour the water and, using the mixer, start incorporating the ingredients. Slightly increase the speed and knead for 7 minutes. It’s the same amount of time I knead the bread for. If you are doing this by hand it will take a bit longer.
The dough is very soft and wet, so rolling it at this point is very difficult. Cover the dough in cling film and put it in fridge for 3 hours. Meanwhile you can make the filling by peeling and washing the onions. Cut them in two and blitz them in the food processor. Of course you can do that by hand, but for that amount of onions, it will take long and be unpleasant. Pour the oil in a pan, toss in the onions and let them cook, stirring from time to time. Add the spices and stir. Leave the onions on the hob until they are done. Take off the heat. After the onions cool down, add the grated cheddar and stir.
Pre heat the oven at 180C or 160C for fan assisted ovens. Roll the dough with a thickness of 4mm, if you have an adjustable rolling pin. Cut with a plate or using the dumplings mould. Put the onion filling in the middle and shape the pasties. Put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Glaze the pasties with beaten egg.
Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until the Cornish pasties are golden. Take them out, transfer them on a cooling rack, and leave them to cool down slightly before serving.
Do you like Cornish pasties? Have you ever tried to make them yourself?