Make these for your children and put their initials on each one using the leftover pastry. It’s a lovely thing to do and will give them a memory that can last a lifetime. Cornish pasties are also good eaten cold or reheated the next day.
1 pack of shortcrust pastry, defrosted if frozen
1 large potato or 3 small, peeled and sliced thinly
100g turnip, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
150g stewing beef, chopped into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper
1 egg yolk, beaten
1. Defrost the pastry if it needs it. Flour a board and roll the pastry out – you can decide what size, you will usually make one large pasty each or two small ones from one sheet of ready rolled pastry.
2. Layer the potato on the bottom, then the turnip, the onion and then the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Dampen the edges of the pastry with water, then bring them together and crimp in the middle, patching as you go (see our photograph). (If you have pastry left over make the initial of the person you are making it for and place on the pasty.)
4. Place the pasties on an oiled or parchment-lined tray and brush with egg yolk.
5. Prick each pasty on top with a fork to let the steam out.
6. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C (cover loosely with tin foil if the pasties are getting too brown). To check if they are done, poke a knife into the middle of the pasty and see if the potatoes are tender. If not turn down the heat and cook the pasty for another 10 minutes. Cover with tin foil if the top is getting too brown. It takes practice to get the timing correct and depends on the size of the pasty.
Cornish miner’s wives would make pasties and bring them to the mine. The pastry had to be sturdy enough so that when they dropped them down the mine they wouldn’t burst open. The crimped pastry around the edges was used to hold the pasty and was thrown away. Sometimes the pasty would have meat and potatoes in one end and a sweet filling for dessert in the other.
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