Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why say 'Valentine's Day', when you can say 'Pasty Day'?

I'm on the Cooking Trip like a new-born Nigella Lawson! Today's (semi) triumph was Cornish Pasties. Not to say that my Valentine's Day wasn't lovely, Eric got me roses and made me pancakes in bed (he brought them to me, in bed, he didn't make them in bed...yeah) but I wanted to try my hand at something new today, and anyway Eric loves a good pasty.

I had to buy a rolling pin to complete the task (great purchase, for £3 it also doubles as a dangerous weapon in case of BF misbehaviour) and, because it's easier to take a picture, here's the recipe:

They're actually surprisingly easy, if you have cold hands. Warmth is the enemy of pastry! The great thing is, you don't cook any of the filling, you just chuck it on the pastry (which you chill for a good while, see the necessity of coolness here?) brush with egg so you can pinch it all together, then cook on 180 for an hour.

See, the origin of the pasty, apparently, was actually the lunch of coal miners, whose wives would cook them meat in a pastry parcel, with a strong crust which they could hold and then disregard, it was never eaten. In Tudor Britain, pies were made simply as an economical way to cook meat, the pastry itself wasn't considered food. The top of the pie was lopped off, the inside spooned out and all the pastry thrown away. OK, British History lesson over.

Eric made these decorations with the leftover pastry after all the circles (use a 20cm side plate) had been cut out.

There's an E for him,

A B for me

And then a skull...yes, a skull. (think he's trying to tell me something about my cooking, reader?)

If you're observant (and reader, I know you are), you'll notice that of the 'Makes 4' specified in the recipe, only 3 are present on the baking tray. That's because one was sacrificed to get the others freed. My only shortcoming in this recipe? I forgot to grease the baking tray, and the first pasty burst apart when I tried to shift it! But the crumbled morsels tasted so goooooood.....

1 comment:

Ex-Shammickite said...

MMMM pasties. Good stuff.
My mum made Cornish Pasties whenever we went on a picnic.... the pastry initial was always applied at one end of the pasty, and you started eating at the other end, so if you couldn't eat it all and wanted to save some for later, you always knew which one was yours cos of the initial!!!