Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cornish Pasties

Looking for something cozy, crispy, and full of flavor to snuggle up with on a cold, winter day? A Cornish Pasty is just the thing...And it's conveniently hand-held and portable.

Created by the British, a pasty is a hand-pie that is sold on street corners all over London. Rich, flaky pastry, and a steaming meat and potato-filled center are everything you could want on a January outing! The key to make this magic is salt. That's where the flavor is at. Starchy foods like potatoes and turnips have a way of absorbing all of the salt you add, so be warned! When in doubt, add that extra bit.

Pastry Recipe:

3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
7 ounces unsalted butter, just out of the fridge, quartered lengthwise and diced into small cubes
2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plucked
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup cold milk

Blend the flour, butter, cheese, salt, and thyme with a pastry cutter or two knives in a large bowl. When ground into a crumbly meal with bits of butter no larger than peas,  pour in your eggs and a small drizzle of milk. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add more milk if the dough is still too floury. Pinch the dough with your fingers, once it sticks together, it's ready to press into a ball. Divide the ball into four equally-sized pieces, press into flat disks with your hand, and package in plastic wrap.

Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

Filling ingredients:

3/4 cup peeled and finely diced rutabaga
3/4 cup peeled and finely diced potato
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 lb. finely diced beef brisket, fat still on
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry rosemary or 1 tsp. fresh
2 tbsp. flour

Mix ingredients in a bowl.

When ready to create pasties, preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll out the dough into approximately 7 inch disks (I used a small plate to make circles) that are about 3 mm thick. Spoon about a 1/2 cup of filling into each pasty, and press down the edges, sealing with water. Brush the tops with egg wash and pierce to let out steam.

Place on a baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until a touch browned, and then turn the heat down to 325 F. Bake for another 30-40 minutes until golden brown and filling the kitchen with a glorious aroma.

Cool for a few minutes before serving.

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