How to make a proper Cornish pasty

Author, presenter and founder of the Posh Pasty Co James Strawbridge shares his ultimate recipe for a Cornish and national treasure

Images: David Griffin and Charlotte Strawbridge

Images: David Griffin and Charlotte Strawbridge

Pasties are essentially a shortcrust pastry disc filled with meat and vegetables and then hand-crimped. In Cornwall we’re proud to seal our pasties on the side in a rope-like crimp that keeps all the juice and goodness in for the baking while in Devon they tend to be crimped on top like an armadillo. The contents are always placed in raw and well seasoned with salt and pepper.

PASTRY 

500g/18oz plain organic white flour
125g/41⁄2oz salted butter
125g/41⁄2oz lard
165g/6oz water (for accuracy it’s better to weigh fluid)

Blitz the flour and diced butter in a food processor until you form a breadcrumb texture. Keep the processor spinning and gradually incorporate the cold water.When it forms into a ball, turn out onto a sheet of cling film and leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Slice into four and roll out into thin circles (25cm diameter) on a floured surface.

FILLING

300g/101⁄2oz beef skirt, finely chopped (this has good marbling and is nice and cheap)
125g/41⁄2oz finely chopped potato
125g/41⁄2oz finely chopped turnip
50g/2oz finely diced onion
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 pinch of Cornish sea salt
Optional: a knob of butter for extra juiciness

CRIMP

Place 150g/5oz of filling in the centre of the pastry round and then fold both sides to the middle. Pinch the pasty closed around the edges and then start right to left and using your finger and thumb to roll the pastry over on itself into a rope-like crimp. At the end fold over the pastry back onto itself.

BAKE

Place a knife hole in the top of the pasty and place on baking paper. Brush with an egg wash and bake for 45 minutes at 180 ̊C.

The Posh Pasty Co was founded by James and Holly Strawbridge. Check out their pastries at poshpasty.co

Discover the history of this Cornish icon in the fifth digital edition of Ernest Journal, available to download now.