pasty is the national symbol of Cornwall,
some Cornish families a pasty recipe
is the only means of tracing their
family history. No one can pinpoint
when the pasty originated, however
it can be traced back to Henry the
VIII (1491-1547). There is a letter
in existence from a baker to Henry's
third wife, Jane Seymour, saying "hope
this pasty reaches in better condition
than the last one..." We also
find reference to the pasty in two
of Shakespeare's plays. It is referenced
Merry Wives of Windsor: Act 1 Scene
PAGE: Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome.
Come, we have a hot venison pasty
to dinner: come gentlemen, I hope
we shall drink down all unkindness.
All's Well That Ends Well: Act IV
PAROLLES: I will confess to what I
know without constraint: if ye pinch
me like a pasty , I can say no more.
pasty became the Cornish miners meal
of choice for many reasons. The traditional
pasty was a complete meal consisting
of meat, potato, onion and seasoning
all wrapped in a crust then baked.
Also, a miner could leave home with
a hot pasty in his pocket and reach
in once in a while to warm his hands.
In Cornwall arsenic was often found
in the tin mines. This is the reason
for the thick pastry crimp on the
pasty. The miners would hold the pasty
by this crust throwing it away after
they had eaten the body of the pasty
to avoid poisoning. The crust wasn't
wasted though; the miners were firm
believers in "knockers"
(ghosts) and left the crust for them.
Legend has it that the devil will
not step foot in Cornwall, England.
The reason is, he fears the Cornish
housewife! The devil fears that if
he goes to Cornwall he might wind
up in a pasty.
Dictionary definition of a pasty is:
A Meat pie. The Pasty is oval or crescent
filled with chunks of meat, diced
herbs, all delicately seasoned and
wrapped in a
thin blanket of crisp, flaky crust.
is an excellent page on
the history of the Pasty .
you like to order some Pasty's ? click
Recipe courtesy of Miss E.Irving of
Westerham, Kent, England (formerly
Falmouth, Cornwall, England);via Neil
of Germiston, South Africa.
2 recipes pie crust, recipe below
8 oz sirloin, or skirt steak, or other
lean tender beef.
tblspn cold water
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and
1/2 medium onion or
1/2 C chopped onion grated turnip,
carrot , or chopped mushroom if desired
seasoning salt to taste and thyme.
out pastry to 1/4" thick, cut into
rounds using saucer or saucepan lid.
meat into small pieces. Dice the raw
potato and chop onion finely.
meat, onion and potato together, adding
seasonings and cold water.
1/2 of the meat mixture on one half
of the circle of pastry, dampen edges
of the pastry with cold water and
fold over to cover the mixture.
the edges together and twist to make
a rope like effect.
6.Make 2 or 3 slits in the side. Put
your initials in it if you like.
7.Brush with beaten egg or milk and
place on a Sheet pan and bake until
golden brown in a hot oven. (approx.
30 min. at 350 F, then another 15
to 20 min. at 300F).
another layer of pastry and put sliced
apples with sugar, cinnamon and a
little butter. This way you get your
dessert as well.
Pie Crust recipe
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour (not bread flour)
3/4 stick of butter ( 3 oz.) or 1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspon salt
3 Tblsp. water
history on Cornish Mining click