Lighter Cornish pasties

Lighter Cornish pasties

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(4 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 1 min Cook: 50 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 6

Angela Nilsen retains the taste but halves the fat of these traditional pastry bakes by using beef skirt and less butter in the pastry

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze best prior to baking
Nutrition info

Nutrition per pasty

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For the filling

  • 400g beef skirt, excess fat trimmed, cut into small chunks
  • 140g potatoes, diced
  • 140g/5oz swede, diced
  • 100g/4oz onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the pastry

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  1. To make the filling, mix everything together in a bowl with ¾ tsp black pepper and 1 tbsp cold water. Stir in a pinch of salt and set aside. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line 1-2 baking sheets or trays with baking parchment.
  2. To make the pastry, put the flour, baking powder and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip in the oil, egg yolk and 5 tbsp cold water. Pulse again until the dough just starts to come together, adding another ½-1 tbsp water, or as needed. If you gently press the dough and it sticks together, you know it’s the right consistency. Tip out the dough onto the work surface and gently press it into a smooth ball.
  3. Cut the pastry into 6 equal pieces. For each pasty, lightly and briefly shape one piece of the pastry to a smooth ball. (Keep the other pieces wrapped in cling film until needed.) Press the ball down to make an even flattened round. Then roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, as thinly as you can, to a circle just over 20cm in diameter, keeping the round shape with your hands as you roll. As you’re rolling the pastry thinner than usual, handle it carefully to prevent it breaking, and keep the work surface and rolling pin lightly dusted with flour to prevent the pastry sticking. Use the base of a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin (or similar) as a guide to cut around to neaten the pastry edges (step 1). Spoon a sixth of the filling down the centre of the pastry circle and lightly press down with your hand to contain and flatten it slightly. Dampen the pastry edges with water (step 2) and carefully bring one side of the pastry over to join the other side (step 3), tucking in the filling to keep it inside as you do so. Press the joins together to seal, then make a thin decorative edge by rolling or curling the pastry edge over all the way around. Press down to seal. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Sit each pasty on the baking sheet or tray, then pierce a small hole in the top of each one for the steam to escape. Beat the egg white to loosen, then brush a little over each pasty to glaze (step 4).
  4. Bake for 15 mins, then lower the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush with more egg white, and bake a further 35 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden, covering loosely with foil if they are browning too quickly. Remove with a wide spatula and leave to cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2012

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Show comments
kat56's picture

our take on this:
-the dough rolled out wonderfully...i wonder if the full fat recipe crumbled for some because it used lard instead of oil for part of it and not enough water
-also we rest the dough in the fridge for 1/2 hour to allow the water to fully hydrate the dough
-for my flour (canadian high protein content - robin hood) and the low humidity of the day, 6 tablespoons did not do it...again maybe the reason for crumblies experienced by others...i add water until 90% of the flour mix is hydrated and very briefly knead lightly
-we did have one pasty worth filling more than needed - we will increase the dough recipe slightly
-we rolled the dough rounds to 8 inches...i think 'rolling as thin as possible" is asking for trouble with this robust filling - you dont want a bit mouthful of crust but I think it needs to be on the thicker side so you can hold it in your hand without it collapsing on you
-i cut the vegetables very small, about 1/4 inch in size, and they were a bit mushy...I think the potatoes could be a little larger and the swede that size and they would still cook through
-they baked up splendidly - tiny bit of leakage but not much - when cooled you could eat it out of hand...they looked great!
-the seasoning was a concern...there is no salt in the filling recipe so i added a tsp...even then it was rather bland
-i also added fresh thyme, rosemary and sage but could hardly taste that
we are making another batch and adding rehydrated dried mushrooms, more salt, changing the mix to add more swedes than potatoes
-we are also adding some spices we use for french canadian meat pie...cinnamon, allspice and celery seed..not cornish but who cares
-we also crimped them on the side - after rolling, we positioned the rolling pin under the dough circle about halfway, used it as a guide while filling them, pushing the filling up to where the center will be..neater
-results to come

tuppster's picture
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I found that there was far too much filling for the pasties, despite having rolled out the pastry so very thin. So I had to freeze half of the filling as had no extra ingredients for more pastry!

sailorgirl700's picture
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As vegetarians I change this recipe to include Quorn pieces instead of Beef, Quorn is also much lower in fat than beef. I also use a vegetable spread instead of butter and sometimes use wholemeal flour instead of plain. Also I use vegetarian home made Worcester sauce. Everyone really enjoys these pasties even the non vegetarians in my family.

peterandjane96's picture
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Forgot to say, didn't bother with perfect circles, just divided it equally and rolled it out into a rough circle, filled it, folded it over and crimped it with quite a thick edge - more like traditional pasties!!

peterandjane96's picture
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In spite of a healthy diet, my husband recently had a stroke so we are super careful now. Like all men he loves pies and pasties and we really thought they were a thing of the past. This recipe was very well received by him and I found them surprisingly easy to make - the pastry handled well. The only changes I made were to use cholesterol busting spread instead of butter (made the pastry lovely to roll out) and I bought a piece of beef skirt which was only half the size recommended because it was on offer- just increased the vegetables to compensate. We certainly didn't miss the meat and hopefully I made it even healthier!. Definitely now part of my repetoire and will use the pastry recipe for other pies and quiches.