There's Something About A Pasty
There are so many Associations around to join, but surely to be a member of this elite band of bakers is the ultimate life goal? I know it’s mine!
We take our pasties very seriously down here, and the CPA exists to make sure that not just anybody can throw meat and veg into pastry and call it Cornish.
The Cornish Pasty Association is the home of everything you need to know about the Cornish pasty. Originally created by a collective of Cornish pasty producers concerned about the number of products being sold across the country as ‘Cornish Pasties’ despite bearing no resemblance to the real thing, the Association now administers the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) designation granted in 2011 by the EU and is here to help anyone who would like to make, buy, sell or find out more about Cornish pasties.
This is their recipe for 6 ‘ansome Cornish Pasties.
FOR SHORTCRUST PASTRY
(rough puff can also be used):
- 500 g strong bread flour (it is important to use a stronger flour than normal as you need the extra strength in the gluten to producestrong pliable pastry)
- 120 g lard or white shortening
- 125 g Cornish butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 175 ml cold water
FOR THE FILLING
- 450 g good quality beef skirt, cut into cubes
- 450 g potato, diced
- 250 g swede, diced
- 200 g onion, sliced
- Salt & pepper to taste (2:1 ratio)
- Beaten egg or milk to glaze
- Rub the two types of fat lightly into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add water, bring the mixture together and knead until the pastry becomes elastic. This will take longer than normal pastry but it gives the pastry the strength that is needed to hold the filling and retain a good shape. This can also be done in a food mixer.
- Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 3 hours in the fridge. This is a very important stage as it is almost impossible to roll and shape the pastry when fresh.
- Roll out the pastry and cut into circles approx. 20cm diameter. A side plate is an ideal size to use as a guide.
- Layer the vegetables and meat on top of the pastry, adding plenty of seasoning.
- Bring the pastry around and crimp the edges together (see our guide to crimping).
- Glaze with beaten egg or an egg and milk mixture.
- Bake at 165 degrees C (fan oven) for about 50 – 55 minutes until golden.
World Pasty Championships
Here’s a date for your diary!
Each year, pasty-makers take part in a unique event to find the pasty champions of the world.
Professionals, amateurs, the young and the not so young come together in a day of music and fun where Cornwall’s hero product is the unquestionable hero of the day.
Created by and hosted at the Eden Project, the World Pasty Championships take place on the Saturday closest to St Piran’s Day and make a fitting grand finale to our own Cornish Pasty Week.
The titles are fiercely battled and each year brings a few surprises. To compete in the Cornish pasty categories, all pasties have to be made in accordance with the PGI specification, including being made in Cornwall of course. However, each category also has an ‘open’ equivalent, where anything goes – and every year anything generally does go. Past championships have included all sorts of weird and wonderful creations, including road kill and insects!
The CPA works with the Eden Project to make sure the day runs smoothly and is proud to sponsor the event. You will find our members there every year, helping queues of youngsters learn how to make and crimp a genuine Cornish pasty.
The next World Pasty Championships take place on Saturday 2nd March 2019.
Pictures and recipe courtesy of The Cornish Pasty Association. Follow them on Facebook.