So what’s a pasty? No, it’s not what Carol Doda wore at her club in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood (boy, that’s an arcane reference). The best way to describe a pasty is to say it’s a pot pie without the pot. They are thought to have been the culinary invention of the Cornish in England and were brought to the United States when Cornish miners immigrated in the 1800s.
My version of pasties takes advantage of the fresh, local produce found at farmers’ markets and/or found in the CSA boxes available from local farmers. My recipe features a combination of onions, celery, rutabaga, potatoes and carrots, married with garlic and thyme. Add a little spicy brown mustard and some nutty-tasting Gruyère cheese and this savory pasty becomes a hearty snack. Serve it with a side of salad and you have a complete meal. Leave out the Gruyère and this becomes a vegan recipe.
1 ¾ cups flour (plus more for rolling)
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold vegan margarine (cut into small cubes)
6 – 8 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion (finely diced)
1 stalk celery (finely diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small rutabaga (peeled and diced)
1 small potato (scrubbed but not peeled – finely diced)
1 carrot (scrubbed but not peeled – finely diced)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
¼ cup Gruyère cheese (grated)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To make dough: Sift flour and salt into bowl. Cut in margarine using pastry cutter. This mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal. Stir in 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water, or just enough to hold mixture together. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make filling: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is lightly browned. Add rutabaga, potato, carrot, and thyme; cook 3 minutes. Add ½ cup water; reduce heat, cover, and steam vegetables 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender.
Whisk 1 egg with mustard in large bowl. Stir in vegetables and Gruyère. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tablespoons water in separate bowl to make egg wash, and set aside.
To make Pasty: Divide dough in half and roll one half out on floured work surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 8 discs with 5-inch round cutter (I use an inverted bowl as a cutter). Add leftover dough to remaining dough and repeat to make 8 more discs.
Roll each disc out to a long oval and brush edges of each oval with egg wash. Place 3 tablespoons filling on one side of oval and fold dough over to make semicircle. Press dough around filling to remove any air, making sure no filling leaks out of edges. Crimp edges with fork tines to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling until you have 16 pasties. Brush tops with egg wash.
Arrange pasties on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at: http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com