Before I have all of Cornwall trolling me, I do not in any way think that a Wandsworth Pasty is superior – or even equal – to its Cornish cousin. In fact, that is exactly why I have chosen the name. Not because I’ve used pollution or grass from the common as a filling, just because I wanted to be upfront about its inferiority.
Anyway. I decided that pasties were a good option in general as they would make a tasty lunch and don’t really require any specialist equipment (e.g. a pie dish). Filling wise, I thought it would be easiest to do something that doesn’t require a lot of cooking, so this BBC GoodFood Ham, Pea & Mint Pasty recipe seemed ideal. My brother and his fiancee were coming over for lunch; I was thrilled that I would be able to subject them to my pasty-experimentation.
How it was to make:
- Making pastry. Not so easy. It turns out that the amount of effort you need to put in to a one-handed activity (e.g. mixing) is a LOT less than a two-handed one (e.g. rubbing together flour and butter). I was pooped.
- Rolling pastry. Hellish. Not helped by lack of rolling pin leading to wine bottle substitute. You’ll notice my hands suddenly change. Yes, my boyfriend had to roll all four of them out in the end.
- Fashioning pastry into pasties. Aaaarrrggghhhh!!! How do people make it look so easy? I had a vision of elegant twisted tops, but in reality I could only produce slightly soggy, bodged ones. One of them even split all the way down the side and I had to perform an emergency surgery using some new pastry and a lot of egg wash.
How it came out:
- The pasties were only a good golden colour in patches – I think I needed to be more thorough with my egg washing.
- The filling was really delicious. I had swapped the onion in the recipe for leek which went beautifully with the other ingredients.
- Actually the pastry was pretty good too – not too thick, and nice and short. Does short mean crumbly? It was crumbly. In a good way.
- Our guests brought the jar of Bacon Jam with them and it went PERFECTLY! A very good lubricant for any excess pastry, so as to avoid any pesky bits getting stuck in the gullet.
- Baking lessons learnt:
- Pastry is really hard to roll out if you leave it in the fridge overnight and then don’t let it warm up a little bit.
- There’s a reason that rolling pins were invented. A wine bottle doesn’t really cut it.
- Don’t be shy with egg wash.
- Physical progress:
- Pastry is not quite at my level yet. I think I will come back to it in a couple of weeks.
- I have noticed, though, that I am now up to two activities a day quite consistently. So I can bake something AND hold a conversation with another person over a cuppa in the same day. Dreamy.
If you want to have a go:
This bake, I have been mostly listening to:
Tyger has very kindly offered this song, his debut single, for me to use on a baking video. Hope he likes it… Love his voice and the upbeat tune – anything to do with smiling is fine by me! Perhaps he might like one of these pasties to keep him going on his tour.
You can buy the single here.
Caroline Crimson x