How to make the perfect Cornish pasty

October 15th, 2015

One of the best things about Cornwall is our traditional Cornish pasty: no one quite makes them like we do! If you have visited the area and stayed in one of our Cornwall dog friendly cottages you may want to recreate this delicious dish at home. Similarly, you may be staying with us at The Valley very soon and want a good ‘heads up’ on our native delicacy. Either way here is our quick and easy recipe for a traditional Cornish pasty.

The recipe will make 6 Cornish pasties.

You will need:

For shortcrust pastry (rough puff can also be used):

500 g strong bread flour (it is important to use a stronger flour than normal as you need the extra strength in the gluten to produce strong pastry)

120 g lard or white shortening

125 g Cornish butter

1 tsp salt

175 ml cold water

For the filling:

450 g good quality beef skirt, cut into cubes (beef skirt is the cut traditionally used for Cornish pasties. This meat is taken from the underside of the belly of the animal. It has no gristle and little fat and cooks in the same amount of time as the raw vegetables.)

450 g potato, diced (Make sure you use a firm, waxy potato such as Maris Peer or Wilja. A floury potato will disintegrate during cooking)

250 g swede, diced

200 g onion, sliced

Salt & pepper to taste

Beaten egg or milk to glaze

To make your pasty:

Rub the two types of fat lightly into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add water and bring the mixture together, kneading until the pastry becomes elastic.

Cover the pastry with cling film and leave to rest for 3 hours in the fridge.

Once chilled, roll out the pastry and cut into circles approx. 20cm diameter. A side plate is an ideal size to use as a guide.

Next, layer the raw vegetables and meat on top of the pastry, adding plenty of seasoning.

Bring the pastry around and crimp the edges together, in the traditional Cornish way.

Glaze your pastry with beaten egg or an egg and milk mixture.

Bake at 165 degrees C (fan oven) for about 50-55minutes, until golden brown.

To create a traditional, Cornish crimp:

Crimping is one of the secrets to a true Cornish pasty.

Lightly brush the edge of the pastry with water.

Fold the other half of pastry over the filling, making sure you squeeze the half circle edges firmly together.

Push down on the edge of the pasty and using your index finger and thumb twist the edge of the pastry over to form a crimp.

Repeat this process along the edge of the pasty, until complete.

When you’ve crimped along the edge, tuck the end corners underneath.

There you have it!

Why not show us your pasty pictures in the comments below?

Image: David Johnson available via Creative Commons