Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The SconeLady Tackles Pasties

They haven't been baked yet, but they are formed. And a rather lovely job I have made of it too, for a first try. The SconeLady makes Early Autumn Cornish Pasties!

Today was the practice day, because I was not just quite sure I could pull it off. My faithful brother had watched our progress throughout England and Cornwall, wishing he too could taste the scones and the pasties. So we have planned a party, and he will taste! 

It was rather a long process, it must be said. Mostly, chopping. There was a lot of chopping. This is what I chopped:
  • skirt steak
  • onion
  • potato
  • courgette
  • carrot
  • butternut squash

Had you heard of 'skirt steak'? I may have, in some distant time past. But I was not just sure the nature of skirt steak, so to the butcher I went, and asked. He gave me a lovely package of it, calling it 'the good stuff'. 

So, there was the chopping, and then there are the spices, and the bit of olive oil; then I tackled the 'short crust'. It was different from my Betty Crocker crust in that it had a 'pinch' of salt, rather than one or two teaspoons of it. In fact, Betty herself calls for one tsp for each 2 cups of flour. You will see that this recipe stated a pinch of salt with 4 cups of flour! But salt or no salt, it will be fabulous.

I cut the cold, unsalted butter into small cubes, and used my fingertips to mix it into the flour+pinch. It turned out, with the 3/4 cup water, to be very soft and pliable. I liked that. It was easy to divide into 6 sections, to roll out each, and to place the filling to the side of the dough.

Once the filling is on, you brush the edges of the crust with beaten egg. This helps keep the edges stuck together - a very handy thing to have done when you pick up a pastie (remember, it is supposed to be 'strong enough to survive a fall down a mine shaft').

"Confidently fold the pastry over the meat and vegetables." This was an encouraging statement. And the dough went up and over the filling neatly, and the whole thing stuck together like magic.

Tomorrow I am going to brush all over these pasties with egg wash, and bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes. And then, the real test - the SconeLady's husband is looking forward to that.

This was a perfect project for Veteran's Day - I did it in between eating lunch at Applebees, and dinner at Chili's: both restaurants were feeding Veterans FREE today! Wasn't that nice of them? Walking in to both, we were greeted warmly by staff and thanked for serving our country. Special menus were given to my husband, and there were American flags all over the place. 

At various booths and tables, other Vets sat with their families - eating, laughing, talking with other Vets. It was the sweetest thing. And it was nothing to do with government, or elections, or arguments about politics. 

It was a hopeful feeling.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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