Cornish Style Cheese & Onion Pasty




I have tried to replicate the cheese and onion pasties you get down in Cornwall. after many different variations and techniques i have eventually settled on this and thought i would share.

It uses a traditional pasty pastry which uses strong flour. The pastry has some stretch in it so the filling doesn't burst out but is still beautifully flaky (and tastes authentic). I have also thrown some feta cheese in there which is not authentic but it is lovely to come across a chunk of it.

I usually make double this recipe and keep a stock of them in the freezer ready for a quick homemade dinner or picnic.

Step 1: Ingredients

Recipe makes five 8-inch pasties & three 5-inch kids size pasties.

Pasty pastry,

450g strong white flour
large pinch salt (optional)
100g margarine (lurpak or similar hard variety)
110g hard vegetable fat / lard (if your not vegetarian)
175ml water


250g Waxy Potatoes (1/2 halved and sliced 2 mm thick)
150g Onions Roughly diced (1 medium sized onion)
100g Feta Cheese (1.5cm Cubes) Optional but highly recommended.
70g Cheddar Cheese (1.5cm Cubes)
70g Cheddar Cheese Grated
1.5 TSP Fresh Thyme
1 TSP Dijon Mustard
1 Egg to bind

White pepper to season
milk or egg to glaze

Step 2: Make Pastry

1. Put the flour and salt into a bowl.
2. Cut off a rub the margarine into flour.
3. Grate the Hard vegetable fat into the mixture and stir with a knife. trying to keep the gratings from clumping together but regularly mixing them into flour whilst grating.
4. Pour all the water in and stir until absorbed.
5. Knead the dough a tiny bit and shape into a ball. it should still look marbled with fats (this gives it the flakiness when cooked).
6. leave at least 30 minutes in the fridge before using. it should be completely cold before being rolled out.

Step 3: Make the Filling

1. Whisk the Egg with the Dijon mustard and thyme together.
2. In a big bowl mix combine the cheeses, potato, onion & Mix in the egg and mustard mixture.

Step 4: Assemble the Pasty

1. Cut around an 8 inch plate for an adult sized pasty or 5 inch for child size (make sure to lift and turn the pastry before cutting to let it relax back into its natural size or you will cut a round and it will shrink out of shape as soon as you lift it up)
2. Move to a clean surface and Brush the edge with milk to help the pastry stick together.
3. Put a dollop of filling onto half of the disc of pastry.
4. Sprinkle a good pinch of white pepper over the filling.
5. Crimp the pasty together using the traditional technique is the key to making an authentic looking Cornish pasty. The technique cant really be described it is best shown in this you tube video. or just fold it over and seal with a fork.

Step 5: Bake the Pasties

1. Glaze with milk or egg wash before baking. 
2. Cooking time and temperature.
  • Gas No 6 approx 50 min-1 hour,
  • Electric 210 approx 50min-1 hour,
  • Fan assisted 165 approx 40 mins

Step 6: Enjoy!

I like to serve them with baked beans. They are great hot or cold.

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10 Discussions


5 years ago on Introduction

So in step 2 item 2. Cut off one quarter of the lard and is that a quarter of the margarine or all the marg. Do you grate the marg as well? Do you have to freeze it or something?

3 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I have to admit the recipe I followed was unclear. I rubbed in a quarter of lard and quarter of marg. then grated the lard and broke the marg up into small lumps because I couldn't grate it. Turned out lovely.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Thank, that's great. I'm in America (from England) and have tried a number of times but can never get the pastry right, but this looks like it'll work! Really appreciate it.


5 years ago on Introduction

I had to look up "strong flour" because, in America, I had never heard the term. I found the Rosetta Stone at where there was a translation from English to English:

* Cake and pastry flour = soft flour
* All-purpose flour = plain flour
* Bread flour = strong flour, hard flour
* Self-rising flour = self-raising flour
* Whole-wheat flour = wholemeal flour

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

That is correct.

Strong flour or bread flour has higher amounts of gluten in it which when kneaded whilst baking bread dough gives more elasticity to the dough. So will hold bigger bubbles in the bread and give it a better crumb.

In the pastry strong flour is used so the pastry would hold together better when crammed with fillings.


5 years ago on Introduction

I would be tempted to add some lightly cooked and drained sausage.

--or perhaps some bits of ham. Yum.

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I am a vegitarian so sausage is not on the cards for me. But I have tried it with mushroom and tomato. Both of which are nice.