Traditional Cornish Pasties
The Boys Do Bake Off - Series 1, Ep.5 - Pastry Week
Although these delicious traditional savoury treats are being made in London, we are very much sticking to the Cornish Pasty Association's Cornish Pasty Recipe. We shall not deviate from it's prescribed ingredients or shape in any way, such that we risk sullying the good name of Cornwall!
The Cornish Pasty has a heritage dating back hundreds of years and in recent history it has suffered the injustice of poor imitation and cheap knock-offs. The Cornish Pasty Association (founded in 2002) has campaigned hard for recognition and protection of the 'true' pasty and it's links to this stunning area of the British Isles (we shan't be discussing Cornish nationality here!).
In 2011 they succeeded in attaining PGI (Protected Geographical Status) for the Cornish Pasty, meaning any commercial pasties must be made in Cornwall to legally bear the name. In addition the association has very clear guidance on the correct content and shape of the pasty.
Our first task is making the pastry. Although the association allow for variation in pastry type, we've gone with the suggested strong pasty to ensure our filling stays locked up tight. Strong bread flour ensures a good gluten structure can develop, as opposed to traditional plain flour which would give a more crumbly finish.
The filling is a simple task of chopping and lightly seasoning all the ingredients. No added herbs or fancy flavours here. Finely diced/sliced potato, swede and onion, good marbled beef and a touch of salt and pepper.
Once rested for a good few hours our pastry is rolled out and cut into circles. The filling is divided between the pastry discs, then folded over and sealed. We've crimped with the curling technique as our dough is stretchy and pliable. You could use the finger and thumb method, however, although it looks attractive the seal can split. Finally we egg wash and bake.
Whether you choose to eat you pasty holding the 'handle' or end to end, these simple, unadulterated, humble pastry parcels are delicious, especially when enjoyed with a tasty beer such as St Austell Brewery's 'Proper Job'.