Pasties … Great Britain’s most popular ‘grab and go’ food. Chock full of fillings, pasties or hand pies are available in bakeries, sandwich shops, convenience stores, grocery stores, food trucks and carts … just about everywhere. Counted among one of hubby’s top favs is the “Cheese and Onion Pasty“. For the history and origins of the “pasty”, please check out my “CORNISH PASTIES” page.
Some pasties are made with a short crust (basically a pie crust dough), and others are made using a puff pastry dough. The difference between the two is puff pastry is lighter and flakier and has a much higher ratio of butter to flour. As delicious as it is, it can be quite challenging to make. Short crust pastry is very easy to make especially if you have a food processor. I’ve used a short crust many times before, but for Cheese and Onion Pasties I’ve decided to use something even easier than short crust pastry … pre-made puff pastry from the grocery store.
If you decide to make these (and, yes I recommend you try them), when you read the ingredients you’ll notice there are potatoes. Yes, potatoes are part of the filling, but for some reason, they are never called “Cheese, Onion and Potato Pasties“. The potato adds just enough bulk to the filling so that the cheese doesn’t just melt right out. These are very easy to make, but will take about 40 minutes to prepare. Well worth the effort.
CHEESE AND ONION PASTIES
Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 6 (or more)
1 lb. puff pastry sheet (thawed)
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced
6 oz. good quality aged cheddar cheese, grated
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
This is a great recipe if you happen to have leftover boiled potatoes.
If not, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water and cook til tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Drain and set aside.
In a saute pan, melt the butter and add the diced onion.
Saute over medium heat until transparent (also about 10 to 12 minutes) but not browned.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked, diced potatoes with the cooked, cooled onions, parsley and the grated cheddar cheese.
Don’t skimp and buy low-quality cheese. Good, aged, cheddar is what you want.
Season with salt and pepper. Mix well, but lightly. You don’t want mashed potatoes.
On a lightly floured board, roll the sheet of puff pastry out until its about 10″ x 12″. You don’t want the pastry too thin or the filling will pop through.
Cut the pastry into six long, evenly sized rectangles.
If you’d rather make circles, or any other shape, feel free. There are no rules. Just be sure to place the filling on one half of the pastry.
Divide the mixture evenly among the six pastries, placing the filling on one end only.
Brush the edges with the beaten egg. Fold the other end of the pastry over the top and seal the edges securely.
Either press the edges together with your fingers or crimp with a fork.
Place the six pasties on a parchment lined baking pan (or two pans, as I did).
Brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pasties are puffed up, crisp and golden brown.
Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Serve these hearty hand pies hot out of the oven for a delicious lunch, or pack them away to be eaten later.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Hearty, cheesy and delicious!
I think to be enjoyed at their best, they should be served warm in all their cheesey gooeyness.