Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cornish Pasties

We make kind of a big deal about St. Patrick's Day in this family.  I'm not saying anyone dyes their hair green or other such nonsense, but we like to celebrate by listening to Irish and Irish American bands, drink wonderful Irish beer, pretend it's cool and rainy and that we live in Ireland and wistfully think of Boston and our St. Patrick's trip there a few years ago.

I menu plan on Thursdays, so on 3/13 of this year, I was trying to narrow down our St. Patrick's Day menu to something reasonable.  In the end, I found it too difficult to stick to one menu, so we had Irish themed dinners for a whole week!  Mushroom Stout Potpies, Vegetarian Guinness Stew, Guinness and Irish Cheddar Bread, lots of kale and potatoes.  Pardon me if these dishes reflect nothing of Ireland.  As I have never traveled there, these dishes reflect my romantic ideas of what people may eat and what is in season this time of year.  

For the big day itself, I made Cornish Pasties, a delicious root vegetable filled hand pie adapted from Vegetarian Times,  Garlic Sauteed Kale and Guinness Chocolate Cake.  In this post I am going to focus on the pasties, (say pass-tees) as they were the most favorite dish of my dear young lassie.  I like the Vegetarian Times recipe, but I prefer measuring vegetables for something like this by weight.  Also, I found an easier way to assemble the pies and ditched the crust recipe which used margarine and white flour.  This recipe is one that has many steps and takes some time, but also has a big payout.  (13 in this batch!) These freeze wonderfully and make a perfect on the go lunch if you're looking for something other than a sandwich for your midday meal.  To save time on the day of, you can prep the veggies the night before and store them in the fridge.  You can make the dough up to three days in advance, provided you store it nice and airtight in the refrigerator.  

In honor of the special occasion, I strayed from my typical pocket pie crust recipe and went with a Cheddar Pie Crust adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe.

This will typically make 16 pies, but I made them slightly larger this time so it only yielded 13.  These freeze well so feel free to double the recipe if you have a bit of extra time.  Freeze leftovers individually on baking trays before moving to freezer bag.  To reheat, microwave for 1-2 minutes and then crisp up in the toaster oven or just bake in the toaster for 20 minutes.

Makes 12-16 Pasties


2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
16 Tablespoons, 2 sticks, cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Ice Water
4 ounces Shredded Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese, or similar cheese


1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small Onion, Very Finely diced, 3 ounces, about 1/2 cup
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1 small Rutabaga, peeled and diced fine, 7 ounces, about 1 cup
1 small Russet Potato, finely diced, 8 ounces, about 1/2 cup
1 Carrot, finely diced, 3 ounces, 1/2 cup
1 stalk Celery, about 1 ounce
2 teaspoons fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large Egg
1 Tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard
1 ounce Grated Kerrygold Dubliner or Cheddar Cheese, about 1/4 cup

The stars of the show.

All lined up to go in the pot.


1. For the pastry: Pulse flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor until incorporated.  Add butter and pulse until well blended.  The flour and butter will resemble coarse cornmeal.
2. Slowly add the ice water, pulsing after every few tablespoons, until the dough just begins to hold together.  The dough should not be too dry or wet and sticky.  If the dough is too dry, add some more water.  If it's too wet, add flour a bit at a time to reach desired consistency.  It should be like play dough!   
3. Add cheese and pulse to combine.
4. Shape dough into two disks, wrap well and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes or up until three days.  You may freeze the dough if you wish to store it longer.

5. For the filling: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is lightly browned.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add rutabaga, potato, carrot, and thyme and cook about 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water, cover pan and reduce heat to low.  Steam vegetables 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender.

Sauteed filling.

I got this Lodge "multicooker" for my husband.  I think I use it more than he does.  

Steamed filling.

6. Whisk 1 egg with mustard in large bowl. Stir in cooked vegetables and cheddar and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone mat or parchment paper.  
8. Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator.  Cut into eight equal pieces using a pizza wheel or knife.  

Form each section into a rough ball, flatten slightly and dust with flour.  

Roll each piece of dough into a 5 inch disc of ¼-⅛ inch thickness.  
I used the press to make the discs and flattened them out slightly with the rolling pin.

You can use a tortilla press to make quick work of this task.

Using a pie crust bag will ensure the dough doesn't stick to the press.  You could also use a plastic bag, cut open along the seems.

Repeat with remaining dough. 
9. Fill each disc with 2-3 tablespoons of filling. Fold dough over filling to make a semicircle. Press dough around filling to remove any air, making sure no filling leaks out of edges. Crimp edges with your fingers or fork tines to seal. 

A cookie scoop works well here to portion out the filling.

The bottom left pie is starting to melt.  Better get these babies in the oven!  Also, used a fork on that bottom left one...not very pretty.  I sealed the rest by hand.  

Repeat with remaining dough and filling. 
10. Bake on prepared baking sheet 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking for even browning.  Let cool 5-10 minutes before taking a bite, enjoy!


And yum.

Shared at Clever Chicks Blog Hop.


  1. Your Cornish Pastries sound so good and healthy, I bet they will even freeze well for a quick meal.

    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

    1. Thanks so much! They do freeze and reheat well. I like to bring them for lunch for my daughter when we are out and about.