Introduction: The Cornish Pasty-Inspired Pasty
First, I find it incumbent to explain that this is an Instructable for pasties, pronounced pass-tees not pay-stees (something completely different). This type of pasty is a traditional dish invented in Cornwall, England.
Now that most readers have hit the back button, a little background: traditional Cornish pasties (also known as tiddy oggy in Cornish dialect) is round pastry dough folded in half and filled with uncooked beef, potato, rutabaga (also known as a swede) and onion and then baked. The Cornish pasty has a long and interesting history, which you can read about on Wikipedia.
Also, remember to always read the recipe all the way through before starting, as each step has a separate set of ingredients.
Addendum: I changed the name to "The Cornish Pasty-Inspired Pasty" from "Cornish Pasty" as a few people commented that Cornish pasties now have European Protection status. While I didn't break any laws, I didn't want to step on anymore toes. Also, real Cornish pasties are side-crimped, not top-crimped like mine, and there are NO carrots (but rutabaga instead) in Cornish pasties.
Step 1: The Crust
The crust is a simple Pâte Brisée and the recipe makes enough for 6-8 pasties (you can get 8, if you re-roll out your scrap dough). Always use COLD ingredients (especially the butter and water) when making pastry crust.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup COLD unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 - 1/2 cup COLD water
Combine the flour and salt with a food processor or by hand in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter. If using a food processor, pulse to combine until texture is that of course crumbs (about 10-15 seconds). Otherwise, use a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers to cut the butter in to achieve a resemblance of course crumbs. Add 1/4 cup of water in a steady stream, pulsing or continuing to cut in until the dough pinches together easily. Add up to 1/4 cup more water if needed.
Divide the dough in half onto two separate pieces of plastic wrap. Use the plastic to help you form each half into flattened discs. Wrap each in the plastic and refrigerate for about one hour (use within a couple days or freeze for up to one month).
In the meantime, make the filling.
Step 2: The Meat & Vegetable Filling
If you look at my pictures, I have double the amount of filling ingredients than I need, but the recipe below is what is needed for 8 pasties. See the pictures for the appropriate size of the diced vegetables.
1 lb. ground or cubed meat (I used half ground beef and half ground lamb)
1 potato (or 1/2, if using a medium russet), diced
1-2 medium carrots (or rutabaga for traditional Cornish pasty), diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients with your hands. Set aside, or refrigerate if you think you might be a little slow with rolling pin.
Step 3: Assembly & Baking
About 4 Tbsp. butter, cut up into 24 pieces (3 per pasty)
1-2 Tbsp. water
1-2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream OR milk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut a 6-7" diameter circle out of paper to use a template--or find something else to use similarly (I used the top of my sugar container).
Prepare your work area by lightly flouring the clean surface and your rolling pin.
Remove one disc from the refrigerator and cut into thirds. Form each third into a flattened disc and lightly flour the tops. Roll each third out enough so that the template completely fits on top of the dough. Use a knife or kitchen shears to cut around the template. Save the scraps. Do the same with the other disc. Mold the scraps into a flattened disc and cut in half. Make two more circles as before.
Place about 2/3 - 3/4 cup of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Top the filling off with three pieces of butter each. Dab your finger or a pastry brush in the water and gently drag it around the edge of the dough, creating about a 1/2" border. Seal each pasty by bringing the sides together and pinching close and crimping with your fingers or a fork. Use a knife to create vent holes along the top.
Place each pasty on a parchment-lined baking sheet, giving a couple of inches space between each. Brush the pasties with the heavy cream or milk.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.
The insides will be piping hot, so be careful and enjoy!