Vegan Cornish Pasty

As a Cornish lass, the Cornish Pasty was a firm favourite growing up and something we learnt to make at school… this is my vegan version of the traditional Cornish pasty flavour.

The pasty is a ‘pie’ dish that is found around the world in many forms… it’s been part of the British diet since the 13th Century, originally a rich meat dish eaten by nobility. In the 17th Century it became a staple lunchtime classic for the miners and farmers of Cornwall, providing them with an easy, tasty and sustaining meal while they worked.

The traditional recipe for the Cornish pasty filling was dead cow with potato, onion and swede, which when cooked together formed a rich gravy, all sealed in its own packet. However, as meat was much more expensive in the 17th and 18th centuries, its presence was scarce and so pasties traditionally contained lots of vegetables.

It is made by placing an uncooked filling on one half of a flat shortcrust pastry circle, folding the pastry in half to wrap the filling in a semicircle and crimping the curved edge to form a seal before baking.

It was also common for the pasties to provide both a savoury main course lunch AND a sweet fruity dessert course. The savoury filling would be cooked at one end of the crescent and the sweet at the other end.

Vegan Cornish Pasty Recipe:

This is my veganised version of the traditional Cornish Pasty.

Ingredients: The Veggies

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small suede (or other sweetish vegetable, like pumpkin, sweet potatoe, parsnip – most recently I used jackfruit ‘meat’)

Ingredients: The Sauce

  • 1 onion
  • Half clove of garlic
  • Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of marmite (or vegetable stock) (or just add more garlic, salt and pepper)
  • Water
  • 1 dessert spoon dried oregano
  • 1 dessert spoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • pepper to taste

Ingredients: The Pastry

  • 4 cups Plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder / Baking Soda
  • 3 dessert spoon Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Water (about 1 cup but add slowly and increase until you have a dry well bonded dough for rolling)

Method:

  1. Wash and Peel the veggies, then cube them.
  2. Part cook the potatoe so it can be easily peirced by a fork but is still hardish. Put aside and let them cool, then mix with the other uncooked veggies
  3. In a separate pan fry the onion in oil until transluent…
  4. Add garlic to onions and cook a little longer
  5. Add herbs, marmite, mustard powder and pepper… mix into the onion and garlic, and simmer for a few minutes, then set aside the sauce to cool
  6. Make the pastry – mix 4 cups of plain flour with salt and baking powder
  7. Add 3 dessert spoons of oil and mix
  8. Add about 1 cup of water a little at a time, mixing until you have a nice rollable dough. Add more flour if the dough is too wet
  9. Roll the dough out to just a few mm thick and cut into soup bowl size rounds. A good pasty size is about 15 cm long… so use a bowl with a 15 cm diameter. Personally, I like my pastys a little smaller maybe about 11 cm long.
  10. Put about 3 dessert spoons of vegetable mix and 1 dessert spoon of onion sauce onto one half of the round of dough – leaving at least 1.5cm edge for crimping. DON’T be tempted to overfill your pastys… less is better. You can always make more pastry.
  11. Dab a little water around the 1.5cm edge of the of the circle round
  12. Fold the pastry over to make a semicircle with the filling on the inside and then crimp
  13. To crimp the edge of the pasty, push down on the edge of the pasty with your finger and twist the pastry over… it can take practice
  14. If you develop any holes – use some extra dough to make a little ‘patch’ repair
  15. Add a couple of airholes in the top of the pasty and put in the oven at about 200 degrees for about 30 minutes

Family Leftover Favourite:

We ALWAYS use the leftover shortcrust pastry to make Marmite Whirls… a firm family favourite for 3 generations!

  • Roll out the leftover pasty into a rectangular-ish sheet, a couple of mm thick.
  • It’s best to warm the marmite jar in warm water beforehand, to make it more spreadable.
  • Spread the marmite across the pastry
  • Take one long edge, roll the first few mm in over on top of itself… then keep rolling over and over into a long, big rolled spiral. As you roll you may need to press together the ends.
  • Then, with a sharp knife, slice it into 1cm thick slices…
  • Place these rounds in a baking tray and bake in the oven after your pastys are done, on 200 degrees for maybe 10-15 minutes.

4 thoughts on “Vegan Cornish Pasty”

  1. Hi – I have just made (and eaten) these – lovely. I made 4 (and I bought the pastry) and have half the ingredients left over. Either I didn’t roll the pastry out enough (and maybe my soup bowl is smaller than yours) or this recipe is for 8 and I didn’t have enough pastry. Could you let me know how many this is supposed to make? I can use the filling in a stew this week but just to get a sense of what I am aiming for. A picture would be handy too – I made 2 traditional pasty shapes and 2 stegosaurus shapes which came out better I think. Thank you. Bel

    1. Wow Stegosaurus pastys… Cool! Yes this recipe should make about 6 big pastys (using a bowl about 15cm diameter)… one of the many great things about home made short crust pastry is that its super simple to make and you can quickly make more. We also often have some of the filling without the pastry… usually we have it with Quinoa but I love the idea to make it into a stew base.

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