Distinguished by its crimped edge and D-shape, its association with working life, primarily farming and mining, and its indigenous contents, beef, onions, potatoes and swedes, the Cornish pasty is the quintessential traditional food.
Designed to be both portable and disposable, the durable casing and crimped crust were practical elements.
The casing allowed for safe carrying, and the crimped edge allowed for robust handling without fear of contamination (the tin mines of Cornwall were saturated with arsenic). The edge was always discarded.
Crimping is a quick folding action, bringing the edges together to form a thick set of round ridges. Hold the pasty edge in one hand and use the fingers of the other hand to twist the edges together in a neat continuous motion.
Although the crimped edge is no longer necessary, its continuing appearance is an integral aspect of the pasty’s attraction and romance.
- 600 g strong white flour
- 300 g lard
- 100 ml water
- Salt, pinch
- 500 g beef, cubed small
- 500 g potatoes, cubed small
- 300 g swede, cubed small
- 250 g onion, chopped finely
- 10 g pepper, fresh ground
- 5 g salt
- Egg, beaten, for glazing
- Milk, for glazing
Crumble butter and lard into flour, add water to form a pliable dough, about ten minutes. Leave to rest in fridge for an hour.
Chop meat and vegetables into equal sized pieces. Mix vegetables together, season, divide into eight equal portions. Divide meat into eight equal portions.
Cut pastry into eight equal pieces, roll each into rounds no less than 22cm in diameter.
Layer a portion of meat on one side of the round, leaving a clear 3cm edge. Place a portion of vegetables on top. Brush entire edge of the round, fold over and crimp.
Preheat oven to 185°C.
Grease a baking tray. Mix egg with a little milk, and brush each pasty.
Bake for 40 mins, until the pasties have taken a golden shine.