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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2017-08-19 01:00 pm
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Non-Cornish pasties

Belovedest has mentioned a few times that it's hard to get your hands on a nice meat pasty around these parts. I contemplated the matter and asked a few questions.

At length, it seemed like it was a good day to try.

My reliable source for understanding the principles behind what I'm cooking is Serious Eats. So I read through the pie crust stuff again. (Incidentally, the site is a clickbait hole for DELICIOUSNESS.)



2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces; 350 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces; 280 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pats
6 tablespoons (3 ounces; 85 milliliters) cold water

I looked at the amounts involved.

There was no way that I was going to be able to fit all that flour and butter into my food processor, which is an attachment to my stick blender. I looked closely at the amounts.

It so happens that the ratio of cups of flour to sticks of butter is 1:1. So I decided that I could make a test batch, one cup and one stick. The salt and sugar is less important, and in fact the sugar is kind of not what I wanted for a pasty dough.

I put 2/3 of the flour together with the butter and a bit of salt, then added a little water and more of the flour. (Probably not how I should have done it.) Then I mixed it in a larger bowl with a little more water. My hands are rather hot, so I tried to cool them down with ice.

I wrapped it up in cling wrap and let it cool off in the refrigerator. I pulled it out a few hours later, and quartered the dough. I saw that it had distinct stacked layers, like a good steel blade. I was thrilled.

I rolled it out in the best tradition of my mother, between two sheets of parchment paper. (There is no rolling pin in this kitchen. I used a glass.) I stuck it back in the refrigerator, still between the sheets, to wait while I prepared the filling. (Parchment paper and waxed paper are easier to handle than cling wrap, for this.)

This was not a Cornish pasty. [personal profile] wohali said something about a chicken curry pasty, and I went "Oooo!" and she advised that you can use pretty much any chicken curry recipe, just dryer than usual.

I went for it.

My basic chicken curry is chicken plus a brick of golden curry sauce plus assorted vegetables, and oil as needed. This time I decided to cook the chicken thigh meat so it would be easy to separate from the bones in my multifunction fancy rice cooker, along with some spiced oil left over from a previous recipe, and some dry onions. I cooked the vegetables and the curry brick separately, only combining them all (and some potato flakes to sop up water and oil) at the end. My partner is much better at handling chicken meat in all its phases than I am, and stripped the meat from the bones before I mixed them together.

I did roll it too thin, and I let it get too hot when filling it.

Despite the holes, I stuck the crust together with egg wash, and egg washed the outside. (I used the leftover egg wash to make a little bit of curry scrambled egg, which my partner ate on top of their salad.)

I'd wisely said that if the food was not going to be ready by 10pm, we should eat something else. The pies came out of the oven just as we were finishing chicken nuggets, but we still had enough room to test half a pie each.


I will be making these again. And the dough process is relatively simple with the tools at hand, so my partner (who can follow a recipe, but isn't yet the cocky ass in the kitchen that I am) may wind up learning the process too.

I put together a bit of sweet pie dough just now, and it's chilling in a ball in the refrigerator. I'm thinking that some fruit pies might be in order...
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)

[personal profile] vass 2017-08-19 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh. That recipe looks easy enough to be worth reminding myself how the fuck to work my food processor.
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)

[personal profile] niqaeli 2017-08-19 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I am eyeing the science on pie crust and contemplating it in the context of biscuit dough which differs... primarily in that you use milk for your liquid, not water. Which means it's adding protein and fat and less as well as water.

This is particularly relevant to me because fried pie is made from biscuit dough. And fried pie is literally impossible to lay your hands on hereabouts in the Phoenix metro. (Pasties are, hilariously, much easier! You just go to one of the Cornish Pasty Co.'s three locations.) And given it's impossible to lay your hands on fried pie to start with, forget gluten-free options.

So have read all that, I am going to have to Do Some Esperaments. :D

(Also who the fuck ever thought it made sense that you were coating flour in a fat pocket?? That's literally not what you see happening when you cut fat into flour, and also makes NO SENSE. You're coating fat in a flour pocket! How the fuck even would the other work. People who only know just enough chemistry or basic physics to be dangerous came up with that nonsense. :|)
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)

[personal profile] niqaeli 2017-08-19 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
It's interesting! The Thing About Gluten-Free Flour is it just flat out does not form tough networks because: No Gluten. Which makes results more tender, but also doughs are much more fragile and persnickety to work with. Batters tend to go much better because batters tend to be things you don't WANT gluten networks forming (and in fact I generally recommend gf flour for cake and muffin purposes, because you CANNOT overwork it in the way all the recipes are afraid of when they say "fold in flour until JUST mixed!!!"). But bread and bread-like doughs are more difficult because while you may not want EXTENSIVE gluten networks, you're generally looking for at least a little. (And sometimes, a lot.)

And I've found that you CAN do a straight sub of gf flour on biscuit dough, and you can't differentiate in any way from tasting the end result, BUT it's also HELLA harder to work with when you roll it out. So I'm very curious to see if overworking the fuck out of the dough in the manner suggested with a little flour added back in to make it do the flaky layer thing, makes it easier or harder when dealing with GF flour. :D
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[personal profile] wohali 2017-08-22 04:14 am (UTC)(link)
Do let me know. I have to be GF and my last attempt at pie dough was not great. I don't generally liked baked goods much, anyway, so it'll be an occasional food for me. A solid recipe I can turn to would be worthwhile.
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[personal profile] sporky_rat 2017-08-21 05:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I have done this with heavy cream instead of butter and as long as I folded the dough over itself repeatedly, it works great.
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[personal profile] pauamma 2017-08-20 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
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[personal profile] stultiloquentia 2017-08-20 01:09 pm (UTC)(link)
This sounds amazing, and I love that you compared the pastry dough to a steel blade. That made me grin.
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[personal profile] klgaffney 2017-08-21 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
Ooh, thank you for linking the pie crust recipe.

Chicken curry pie sounds amazing. Definitely something to try once we finish our kitchen projects and I have some counter space without dishes piled on it!
matgb: (British)

[personal profile] matgb 2017-08-21 05:32 pm (UTC)(link)



Ye gods no.

OK, it won't actually hurt, but no, completely unneeded and, well, just weird.

Beyond that, yeah, basic shortcrust pastry is so easy to make it astounds me when people don't know how. But then, I grew up in Devon (the bit of Dumnonia the Saxons did conquer, Cornwall's the bit they didn't want) so pasties are a basic feature of life.

If you want to go complex, read up on rough puff (flaky) pastry and then actual puff pastry, either can be used for pasties, will give a much lighter, flakier finish but takes extra work.

For a different filling, some Branston mixed with a decent cheddary cheese (a decent Jack'll do) and some chopped onion is my favourite. Weirdly, Branston was invented in New York but isn't now commonly used in the US but is everywhere in the UK.
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)

[personal profile] wohali 2017-08-22 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds great! So glad it worked out.