Pasties are diced root vegetables, traditionally with meat, cooked in a flaky pastry case. They are easy to make in big batches and they freeze well. A wonderful example of humble ingredients that when put together make something greater than the parts.
640 g flour
250 g butter
Salt to taste (I suggest 1/2 tsp in the pastry and 1.5 tsp in the vegetable filling)
Root vegetables to yield about 1 kg of diced mixed vegetables for the filling (I used a carrot, a rutabaga, a kohlrabi, a leek, half a celeriac, a potato and a parsnip)
1/2 tsp ground celery seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
Lots of ground white pepper (I suggest at least 1/2 tsp)
An egg, beaten
- Put the butter in the freezer for at least half an hour to ensure it is hard.
- Mix at least one teaspoon of salt into the flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Coarsely grate the butter into the mixing bowl with the flour.
- Bring the pastry together into a dough by hand, adding water as necessary (you will need at least half a cup).
- Cover the pastry and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Scrub, peel and dice the vegetables into roughly 5 mm cubes.
- Mix the spices and at least a teaspoon of salt into the vegetables. You may also want to mix some chopped meat in at this stage. I used a couple of rashers of bacon left over from another recipe.
- Turn the oven on to heat to 200C.
- Divide the pastry into quarters and roll out one quarter at a time on a floured worktop.
- Cut circles using a 20 cm diameter soup bowl as a template. You should get at least 3 pastry circles from each quarter and about 14 in total.
- Lay the pastry circles out, put a handful of diced vegetables on each, placing the vegetables slightly off centre and leaving a couple of centimetres margin all around. One or two at a time is easiest, depending on how much workspace you have. You will probably have leftover veggies -- use them in soup.
- Eggwash the edge of the pastry circles then fold over to form a parcel. Seal the edges with your fingers, making as neat and decorative as possible.
- Place the pasties on a silicone lined baking tray.
- Brush the tops of the pasties with eggwash and make a small cut in the top so they can vent steam during cooking.
- Bake the pasties for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 180C. Cook for a further 40 minutes.
- Eat warm or at room temperature. If frozen, reheat gently for half an hour in the oven.
The flour I used was purchased at my local SuperU supermarket at La Roche Posay, and comes from the last working flour windmill (Fr. minoterie) in Berry. The vegetables were bought at the market in Preuilly from our local organic market gardeners, Les Jardins Vergers de la Petite Rabaudière, on the outskirts of town. They sell from the farm every Tuesday evening and at the market jn town every Thursday. Local butter, from the Laiterie Cooperative de Verneuil, can be purchased from their factory shop or local supermarkets and corner stores.
Diced root vegetables (and a little bit of bacon).
Using a soup bowl to cut pastry circles.
Filling on the pastry circle, eggwash to help seal the edges.
Ready for the oven (just waiting for eggwash and vents).