Vegan Cornish Pasty
This Vegan Cornish Pastry recipe reminds of me of summers spent in the West Coast of the UK. Find out how you can make them below.
What’s in a Cornish Pasty?
While most of the contestants on The Great British Bake Off stuffed their pasties with weird and wonderful flavour combinations, I decided to take the traditional Cornish Pasty and make it vegan for my “signature bake”. But here comes the disclaimer…this isn’t a real Cornish Pasty. Why? Because there are rules about what has to happen for a pasty to get the official “Cornish Pasty” title. And the biggest rule of all – it has to be baked in Cornwall! Given this recipe was refined in my little kitchen in London it’s not an “authentic” Cornish Pasty. But it’s pretty damn close, especially given that it’s vegan. But, presuming you are baking your pasty in Cornwall, what makes it the real deal?
- Diced or minced beef (at least 12.5% of the pasty has to be meat – eek!)
- Sliced or diced potato
- Sliced or diced swede
- Diced onion
- Seasoning (aka salt and pepper)
The ingredients can be wrapped in shortcrust or puff pastry but my preference is for shortcrust. I find puff pastry a little too delicate to handle and a little greasy too. Shortcrust pastry is perfect for keeping all of the flavour in one easy to hold parcel.
How to make it vegan
If you’re going to make a plant based pasty the first thing you have to ditch is the meat. I didn’t want to use “fake meat” so I swapped the beef for sliced mushroom instead. You still get that umami flavour and a meaty “bite” without having to buy any weird and wonderful ignredients from the supermarket.
The only other part of the traditional recipe you need to tweak is the pastry. Traditionally shortcrust pastry is made with a mix of lard and butter. Some vegan shortcrust pastry recipes use olive oil. These work well but I prefer to use plant based substitutes for the traditional ingredients. For the lard I use a vegetable shortening like Trex. For the butter I will use a non-dairy alternative. My go to brand is Flora. By using a mix of shortening and non-dairy butter it keeps the rich buttery flavour but is a little more stabled and easy to work with.
Rather than glazing my pasties with egg I simply use a little oat milk. To make them look extra special you can top them with some decorative details made out of pastry scraps.
Vegan Cornish Pasty
For the pastry
- 500 grams strong white bread flour
- 125 grams vegetable shortening e.g. Trex
- 125 grams non-dairy butter e.g. Flora
- 1 tsp salt
- 175 millilitres cold water
For the gravy
For the filling
- 200 grams potato peeled and diced
- 100 grams swede peeled and diced
- 100 grams mushrooms sliced
- 50 grams onion peeled and diced
- 4 tsp non-dairy butter
For the glaze
- 50 millilitres non-dairy milk
For the pastry
- Add the flour, salt, vegetable shortening and non-dairy butter into a large mixing bowl.
- Rub the shortening and non-dairy butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. (You can also do this by pulsing the mix in a food processor but be careful not to over mix!)
- Slowly add the water and bring the mixture together until it forms a ball.
- Knead the dough until it has formed an elastic dough (it's OK to work this pastry a little more than you would regular shortcrust pastry).
- Cover the dough with clingfilm and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to let it rest.
To make the gravy
- Pour the vegetable stock, mushroom powder, garlic powder, onion powder, mixed herbs and cornflour paste into a sauce pan.
- Mix well and place the pan over a low heat.
- Stir the gravy letting the gravy reduce down and thicken.
- After roughly 15 minutes the gravy should be a thick almost jelly like consistency. (You don't want it too runny or it will be hard to add to the pasties before assembling them).
- Take the gravy off the heat and leave to cool.
To assemble the pasties
- Pre-heat your oven to 190C / 374F / gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
- Take the chilled pastry out of the fridge and roll out on to a lightly floured surface.
- Cut out 4 circles of pastry roughly 18-20 cm in diameter using a small plate as a guide).
- Divide the chopped vegetables across the four pastry circles and make a small mound on one half of each pastry circle.
- Add a tsp of non-dairy butter and 4 or 5 tbsp of gravy on top of the vegetables.
- Brush a little non-dairy milk around the edges of the pastry and fold it over to seal the vegetables inside.
- Carefully press the pastry down to ensure there are no big gaps of air and the edges are completely sealed.
- Crimp the edges by making lots of little folds along the edge. This will stop the edges coming unstuck in the oven.
- Brush with the remaining non-dairy milk and decorate with any pastry scraps if you wish.
- Cut a couple of small holes in the top of the pasties to allow steam to escape.
- Cook the pasties in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until they are golden and crisp on the outside.