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Perfect pasties

Perfect pasties

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(42 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 55 mins Plus chilling

More effort

Makes 4
Reawaken childhood memories of summer holidays with Sara Buenfeld's eat-by-the-sea favourite, the humble pasty

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per pasty

  • kcal1174
  • fat68g
  • saturates35g
  • carbs114g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre6g
  • protein34g
  • salt1.96g
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Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 125g chilled and diced butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 125g lard
  • 500g plain flour, plus extra
  • 1 egg, beaten

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

For the filling

  • 350g beef skirt or chuck steak, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced

    Potato

    po-tate-oh

    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 175g swede, peeled, finely diced

    Swede

    sw-ee-d

    A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…

  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Rub the butter and lard into the flour with a pinch of salt using your fingertips or a food processor, then blend in 6 tbsp cold water to make a firm dough. Cut equally into 4, then chill for 20 mins.

  2. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix together the filling ingredients with 1 tsp salt. Roll out each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface until large enough to make a round about 23cm across – use a plate to trim it to shape. Firmly pack a quarter of the filling along the centre of each round, leaving a margin at each end. Brush the pastry all the way round the edge with beaten egg, carefully draw up both sides so that they meet at the top, then pinch them together to seal. Lift onto a non-stick baking tray and brush with the remaining egg to glaze.

  3. Bake for 10 mins, then lower oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and cook for 45 mins more until golden. Great served warm.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (83)

wadders01's picture

Made these for my normally fussy eating kids and they loved them as did my husband (who is a little less fussy). But.... are there really 1,174 calories per pasty?! ;)

darkhorse1909's picture

I was born in Devon but holidayed in Cornwall my whole childhood and have loved Cornish pasties ever since, I now live in Ireland and so I don't use swede or turnip because the flavour of Irish swedes is so strong, I use carrot instead (I know, sacrilege!) and also lamb, as that was in the recipe given to me by an old Cornish lady who owned the tea shop we used to go to in the '60s in St. Agnes (fond memories!) My husband doesn't eat lamb so I use beef in his, but I prefer lamb. Also, I crimp on the top, because the texture of the pastie changes when you cook it on it's side, there is too much pastry in contact with the dish, if you know what I mean, that's just my opinion, but again, this is how I was taught by this lady all those years ago, I NEVER precook the ingredients, I always use plenty of seasoning, havent used a stock cube or added water or a knob of butter, might try that next time, though I quite like the filling a bit dry. I make the pastry using 40/60 ratio of fat to flour, once you rest the pastry for at least an hour before filling it should be fine, I haven't used strong flour, haven't ever needed to, but I might for research purposes! But all of these changes would not really be necessary if your core ingredients are good and flavourful enough, and I agree with the comment about onion, whatever the recipe says, add a little more, it wont hurt, and will add more flavour, moisture and general yumminess!

steve carl's picture

If you're having problems with the pastry make sure you add one beaten egg to the pastry mixture together with some cold water. This helps to bind the pastry together. To stop the pasty from becoming too dry when cooking add one table spoon of water or a nob of butter to the filling when sealing the pasty. Don't worry if any runs out. To give the pasty lots of flavour season the filling well with salt and pepper and if you really want to taste the flavours of the filling add half a teaspoon of sugar when mixing the whole of the filling. No need to cook the filling before just let all the ingredients cook in the pasty that way you won't loose any juice from the beef. And don't forget to brush a little bit of the beaten egg on to the pastry before cooking to make it look truly delicious.

stevoa's picture

Terrible. I couldn't even cook these, the pastry recipe is junk. Touch the pastry dough and it just crumbles and falls apart. Forget being able to actually roll it out and fold it up and around the filling.
Anyone who says this recipe works SURELY must have done something different with the pastry.

cbleu's picture
5

The pasty recipe is exactly as the traditional pasty recipe has been since its inception.
I have used the same flour/fat ratio for 40 years.
A bad worker always blames his tools.

steve carl's picture

If you're having problems with the pastry make sure you add one beaten egg to the pastry mixture together with some cold water. This helps to bind the pastry together. To stop the pasty from becoming too dry when cooking add one table spoon of water or a nob of butter to the filling when sealing the pasty. Don't worry if any runs out. To give the pasty lots of flavour season the filling well with salt and pepper and if you really want to taste the flavours of the filling add half a teaspoon of sugar to the whole of the filling mix (not to each pasty). No need to cook the filling before just let all the ingredients cook in the pasty that way you won't loose any juice from the beef. And don't forget to brush a little bit of the beaten egg on to the pastry before cooking to make it look truly delicious. The second time I tried this recipe I used 350g of flour, 62.5g (quarter of 250g) of butter, 62.5g of lard, one beaten egg, some cold water, this seemed to work much better for the pastry. I hope this helps.

Lori1234's picture

I would like to make some small cornish pasties as a 'canape' for a Cornish evening I am doing - has anyone tried this before? Any advice? Thx

caboroig's picture

I don't mind whether these are Cornish or Devonian...they are so tasty. I made the pastry as suggested and it was lovely. I agree with previous comments you do need to cut the veg small and I also added a crumbled beef stock cube. My family were impressed I'd made them and have asked for them again!

Beejaylucas's picture

I'd say it's pretty much a Cornish pasty - all this talk of top or side crimping seems a bit petty to me. My aunt was Cornish and she did them both. The ingredients need to be cut very thin (for girl at school for exam - very small cubes of swede and use a potato peeler on the spuds) .. and also a tip is to put a small amount of butter and a sprinkle of dry beef stock cube on the ingredients before sealing up. And as for the pastry... use the ready made stuff, it's just as good... unless it's your exam!!!!! ;-}

Bellydancer49's picture

~The pasty shown is NOT a CORNISH pasty - its a DEVON pasty - because Cornish pasties have the crimping to the side NOT on the TOP!!!
Also best way to eat a Cornish pasty is with a raw sweet tomato and a cup of sweet tea - with an extra teaspoonful of sugar than you normally take. ENJOY!!!

RachieT00's picture

The ratio of fat to flour in your pastry is all wrong. It should be half fat to flour or shortcrust pastry.

Angela Meagher's picture

sent posting 13.10 6th nov 2013, forgot to mention that I added 2 tbls of beef stock to meat and mixed well so the filling wouldn't be dry

Angela Meagher's picture

I made the cornish pasties, I am not a lover of swede or turnip so I added small diced carrot instead and added about 1tsp of aramat and everything else was according to recipe, it was delicious and have made a couple of batches for my freezer for lazy winter evening snack. Shop bought pastry would not be as good, too weak to hold filling for long term cooking.

maxbax's picture

I made this with shop bought pastry and added 1/2 carrot 1/2 swede, other than I'd slightly under seasoned the mix it was delicious and the family loved them. They were very big so the 2nd batch I made smaller.

lindsayentwistle's picture

My daughter had decided to make these as part of her GCSE food tech and they weren't a success - the filling was tasteless and the vegetables needed chopping much smaller as they didn't cook properly. She found an alternative recipe in the end.

clarab's picture

These took me ages and both the filling and pastry were a disaster. Lots of very positive comments though so will try again at some point!

kjclarke56's picture

Being Devonian, I love pasties (westcountry versions)and am always looking to improve my recipe, this one isn`t good, best pastry is half to two thirds fat to weight of flour, pure lard being best!

sydneygeorge's picture

?? I am pure Devonshire, Dartmothian in fact and have always loved the Cornish Pasty, but I have also love the Devonshire Pasty, which my Uncles used to take to work, as their jobs were sometimes quite dirty work, but the Devonshire Pasty is a TIDDY OGGIE, NOT THE Cornish Pasty, the Cornis Pasty is a Cornish Pasty.

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Tips (1)

chongololo's picture

I create vegetarian versions of these using 100g butter and 100g margarine for the pastry. The pastry is elastic and easy to use. For the filling I use Quorn mince and a lot more pepper than in this recipe which is more authentically Cornish, plus crimping on the side not the top ;)

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