Its ages since I made pasties, I mean to say years. I don’t know why, I suppose they just went off my radar, but I do love a good homemade pasty and you can pop anything into them to use up, they soon become much more than the sum of their parts.
I made my rough puff with 250 g of salted butter, 500 g of plain flour and cold water. (half fat to flour as we were always taught) I roughly chopped up the very cold butter and added enough water to bind. I don’t know how much it was I just use a big bladed old fashioned butter knife to turn the ingredients, water being slowly added into the flour and when it starts to come together bring it together by hand. I then turned it out onto my work surface and rolled it out into a long oblong, folded it so there were three layers, turned it 90 degrees and repeated twice more, wrapped it in cling film and popped it in the fridge. It literally takes 5 minutes, although I can remember being 14 and it taking at least half an hour. I do like a flaky pastry, but that’s a little bit more work, but you do get a more even flake as the butter is added more evenly. For pasties I don’t think it really matters.
And while my pastry was resting in the fridge, I peeled and chopped the potatoes and onions, grated the cheese and snipped what was left of the bacon. When the pastry came out I evenly portioned it out and rolled each piece into a circle of pasty. I don’t bother using a plate to cut a perfect circle, you can if you like, I am more of a bodge it, feeding a family, country cook and I don’t like adding the pastry scraps together and rerolling them, they’re never the same and you often end up with a tough little piece of pastry which your never quite sure what to do with – and jam tarts weren’t on the agenda. You do end up with odd sized pasties, but I don’t think they are any the worse for it. I then brushed them with milk and popped them in a moderate oven, turned down after twenty minutes for fifty minutes.
Fresh out of the oven, half went in the freezer, half went into me and it was delicious. The cheese had provided the aromatics with the butter pastry and every mouthful was heavenly. And as I’d hoped they would, they provided the perfect picnic food for our little jaunt to Brighton.