Everyday I go to work through Edinburgh Waverly station I pass by the Cornish Pasty shop. I love their vegetable pasty. It’s the same one I used to get in Maidenhead when I worked there, and at London Bridge on the way to see the then boyfriend-now-Mr-Plummy-Mummy.
So I wanted to have a go and ended up mashing (probably in inappropriate term in this context….synergizing?) two recipes – the pastry from Louise Pickfords Mediterranean Suet Parcels from her Vegetarian Cookbook and the filling from a good food recipe.
For the pastry
- 500g Self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 175g shredded vegetable suet
- 150ml yoghurt
- 200ml milk
For the filling
- 2 leeks (500g)
- 2 potatoes (500g) – used Greenvales potatoes. They are just gorgeous for everything.
- Knob of butter (about 10g)
- Pinch of dried thyme or rosemary
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 150g cathedral city mature cheddar
- Salt and pepper
- I small egg for the glaze
For the pastry
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
- Stir in the suet (I found the consistency a bit odd as the bits were like little pellets)
- Mix the milk and yoghurt together and then slowly pour into flour a little at a time. Form in to a dough and kneed lightly until smooth. I had a little trouble at this stage due the consistency of the suet. I wasn’t sure how much to knead it as short pastry shouldn’t be worked too much.
- I kneaded until it was somewhat smooth then covered the bowl with cling film to rest whilst I made the filling
For the filling
- Turn the oven on to 200 degrees (400f, gas mark 6)
- Wash the ginger, potatoes and leeks thoroughly
- Chop the leeks into small pieces – I did this by quartering the leeks along their length then slicing these finely. A serrated edge knife makes this a doddle. For good measure, I always rinse leeks again to get out dirt that is caught between layers
- Peel the potatoes then slice in thick slices.
- Peel the ginger then grate it finely
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan then add the sliced leeks, herbs and ginger and cook over a low heat until very soft
- Meanwhile, place the potatoe in a pan with cold water and bring to the boil. Then simmer for a few minutes until the potatotes are slightly softened (i.e. parboil them). I wish I had cooked mine a little longer as they stayed quite firm in the pie.
- Once the leeks are cooked, drain off the potatoes and stir in. Let the mixture cool
- Cut the cheese into small 1cm cubes and stir into the mixture
- Season with salt and pepper
The construction and cooking
- Get a baking sheet ready. Dust it with a bit of flour.
- Roll out the pastry until it forms a 14inc wide square. That’s what the recipe says. What it doesn’t mention is how hard that dough is to roll. My arms were aching. But after a bit of stubbornness, I got a sort of square (ok it was a rectangle but hey ho)
- Place the cooled mixture in the middle.
- Then, I was meant to water the edges of the pastry and bring up the corners up to form a parcel. Things did not go to plan! I think I had too much filling and the edges would not stick together. I should have rolled the pastry out a little larger or just done what the good food recipe said and made two circles. Anyhoooo, I got very frustrated so kind of rolled it into a cylinder shape, picked it up and plonked it onto a floured baking tray. The pie had a bit of leakage – in future, I will add one teaspoon of flour to the mixture to thicken it up
- Glaze it with egg wash (I used a silicon brush, think you could also glaze with milk if you prefer to keep the thing egg free)
- Put into the oven and cook for 30 minutes until lovely and golden
- Take out and let it cool for 10 minutes. Marvel in the glory of a home baked pie. Slice it up and marvel again as the wonderful feeling oozes out a bit
- Serve with greens, salad or as we did GRAVY
Not bad for my first pie. But I think in future I will use shortcrust as I prefer the crust. I’m going to try to make a pie with traditional samosa filling made out of carrots, peas and potatoes…bound to be healthier than the fried version right?
BTW check out my new bin from the council – it collects food waste. How wonderful!