It all started with an apple pie. Then a request for the half chicken that remained from a roasted dinner, to be made into a chicken and mushroom pie. Now we're on the slippery slope for all things pastry! The latest being pasties.
Cornish ones for 'A' and goats cheese,spinach and walnut for me.
I'm not a big fan of puff or flaky pastry I find it a little rich with all that butter, but I adore home made short crust pastry and it works great for pasties.
This is how I made my goat's cheese, spinach and walnut pasties:
Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry:
- 500g plain flour
- 250g butter or substitute - I usually use soya or sunflower substitute
- 2 eggs plus a little cold water
- A little egg and milk to glaze the pastry
- Sieve the flour into a baking bowl. If you want to add a little sea salt do so at this stage.
- Rub the butter into the flour with your finger tips until the consistency resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Add beaten egg to bind together using a little cold water if necessary.
- Combine the ingredients together and form into a ball.
- Place the pastry in a plastic bag and then into the fridge to rest for half an hour.
Filling for Goats cheese, spinach and walnut pasties:
- Three small or two medium sized goats cheeses
- About 200g of baby spinach leaves
- A large handfull of walnuts
- A small white onion
- One parsnip
- One small carrot
- Wash, peel and chop the root vegetables into very small pieces and place in a bowl. They aren't going to be pre-cooked so need to be really small to ensure they cook properly.
- Chop the walnuts and add.
- Wash the spinach leaves and add.
- You can either add the goats cheese to the mixture at this point or at stage 7. Place to one side.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour. Take the rested pastry from the fridge and divide into six pieces.
- Roll out, one at a time into a circular shape.
- Place a sixth of the filling into the centre, topping with a sixth of the goats cheese.
- Brush around the outer edge of the circle with the beaten egg/milk mixture.
- Draw the pastry together, either pulling up in the centre or folding over to one side, pressing the seam together to ensure the mixture doesn't escape from the pasty.
- Crimp the edges folding over carefully.
- Brush with egg wash.
- Place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven 180c/gas mark 4 for about 50 minutes. I would check after about 40 minutes.
To make meat pasties omit the cheese, spinach and walnuts, substituting with half a kilogram of minced beef. I accidentally used lamb which isn't traditional for Cornish pasties but they were wolfed down, so obviously it works really well with lamb too.
They freeze really well which is why I like to make big batches. They are really popular for a substantial packed lunch.
I've also made them since using feta cheese which were delicious. I'd like to try with turkey mince and possibly chestnuts as we get closer to the festive season...oh and sage and cranberries would be good too...imagine that...
I'd better get making up another batch to freeze ready for all the Christmas visitors...