Posts Tagged 'Cornish Pasty'

Alex Polizzi – The Fixer….Clotted Cream in a Pasty?

Well, tonight we were thrilled to happen upon a programme set in Cornwall; Alex Polizzi – The Fixer. The premise of the programme is Alex’s one woman campaign to rescue local family businesses.  You may have seen her on The Hotel Inspector and she is part of the famous hoteliers the Forte family. Her Mother owns the fabulous Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes on the South Cornwall coast. Something I didn’t know until this programme is that she owns her own wholesale bakery who supply to Selfridges & Fortum & Mason amongst many top restaurants. So she has a great background which has given her the experience needed to help Choughs Bakery in Padstow – business and bread!

A great programme which really shows the benefits and perhaps the pitfalls of working with your family. Alex worked with the Eade family who have been running a bakery on the harbour at Padstow for the last 30 years. The shop had a new look and she helped them diversify to help them through the lean winter months. Something I’m sure a lot of Cornish businesses have problems with. People shouldn’t only view Cornwall as a summer destination, there’s nothing better than a walk on a Cornish beach when the winds blowing a hooley with a pasty in your hand.

This programme offered a great glimpse of lovely Cornwall while we’re up in Oxfordshire in the snow. There was also an all too brief view of our favourite Yarnigoats (Men from Port Issac) The Fisherman’s Friends who made the perilous journey from Port Isaac to Padstow to sing for the Town Crows (people from Padstow) at the ‘Celebration of the Cornish Pasty’ Do you think they may have been paid in pasties?

One of their new ideas is pasties by post. If you fancy a taste of the home county shipped to your door or even a Valentines pasty check out their website here The Chough Bakery or if you fancy trying to make one yourself check out Mark’s Mum on You Tube

If you missed this programme you may want to watch it on BBC IPlayer here Alex Polizzi – The Fixer – Episode 2 The Chough Bakery It’s definitely worth a look if only for their secret pasty  ingredient…..Cornish Clotted Cream!! I love the way recipes get handed down in families. Apparently their grandmother made her own clotted cream and always added a dollop to the veg and meat in her pasties.

Also, if you want any more news on the lovely Fisherman’s Friends check out their website here Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends They’re going on tour!!

Lakes of Truro Pottery Pasty

Like most holiday makers we will generally bring something back from our holiday as a memento of our good time away. Last year when I eventually popped the question to Becky ( see previous post) we had already bought our souvenir a day or two before the big event.

When I called Becky’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage I was staring at the wall of the Truro railway station which had no bearing on our souvenir at the time, it wasn’t until we were browsing in a vintage curious shop in Fowey that we saw this old dusty terracotta pasty in the corner. As I picked it up the lady in the shop said ‘ that’s an old-fashioned souvenir Victorians would buy, made by Lakes of Truro, they used to be by the railway station you know’ ‘Huh’ I thought that could be a nice little memento of our trip to Cornwall this year, so after a little negotiation Cornish Lad Styli we left the shop with the most expensive pasty I have ever bought and probably the worst tasting one. So armed with our relic from the Victorian era we headed off, now all I had to do was ask the question which as you all know I did and the rest is history.

So about the maker of this wonderful little pasty. Lakes Pottery were based in Truro and set up their pottery business in 1872. Pottery businesses have been on the same site dating back to medieval times. Notably they were renowned for their large bowls made for times when households had out-door toilets and kitchen range fireplaces and homemade bread was a necessity to the household. Output of pottery was staggering with production serving the whole Cornish community.

Bernard Leach, the infamous potter of St Ives, drew reference to the work of the Lakes Pottery as the type of work he wished to carry out in new pottery. The pottery had a great influence to the work carried out at Leach’s Pottery and Bernard, his sons, their students and apprentices would visit Lakes on a regular basis to watch production tecniques of pots being thrown and handles being attached.

The pasty has been used as a mascot for the Cornish Rugby team for years and in 1908 Lakes Pottery made 3 terracotta pasties for the first appearance of a Cornish side in a final. Cornwall beat Durham 17-3 in front of 17,000 people in Redruth.

Lakes Pottery sadly closed down in the early 1990s when it was destroyed by fire.

Although I’m sure it’s not worth a trip to the Antiques Roadshow with our pasty I have never seen another one so keep an eye out when browsing antique shops and you may find yourself one too!

stamp on base of pottery reads LAKES CORNISH POTTERY TRURO

Making a Proper Cornish Pasty

It’s that time of the year, the nights are drawing in and all we want is some comfort food. Reminiscing about that lovely holiday you had in Cornwall; strolling the streets or sitting on the beach with a pasty in your hand? Well, why not try and make your own this weekend?

Made the traditional way by my Mum for her family all her life, why not give her recipe a go. You will not find any dodgy fillings such as Stilton or chicken tikka here; just good old meat, potato, onion and swede!

So first you need to make some pastry – Cornish Housewife Tip No1 – Mum always makes her own and then freezes it as it will give you a better  texture to the pasty.

Ingredients for making Mum’s pastry

I.5 kg plain flour

500g Lard and Margarine Mix (approx 2/3 Lard and 1/3 Margarine)

Cut fat into flour and then rub together until it is similar to breadcrumbs.

Mix together with cold water until it is a firm dough consistency and set aside ready for making pasties or freeze until ready to use.

Making the Pasties

The quantities will depend on the size of the pasty you are making! These ingredients are based on an average sized pasty.

1 onion

1 piece of swede (or Turnip as we like to call it in Cornwall)

potatoes

diced beef skirt (approx 150g)

salt and pepper to season

Sprinkle flour on work surface or board. Roll out pastry to about 5mm and place a dinner plate on pastry and cut around it leaving a circle. Put rolling-pin underneath half way so half of the pastry is over the rolling-pin and the other half is flat on the work top (Cornish Housewife Tip No 2)

Add a layer of swede, a little bit of onion, finely slice potato onto the layer of onion, add layer of skirt, season with salt and pepper, add more onion and finish with a layer of potato. Fold over and crimp pastry. Coat pastry with egg to help brown in oven to give it that lovely golden colour. Cornish Housewife Tip No 3 – Pierce small hole in top for the steam to escape so the pastry does not split.

Mum always adds an initial made from pastry for each family member if any have special requirements (for example I like quite a lot of pepper in mine!)

Bake in a hot oven (220 oC) for one hour turning it back to 180 oC as it cooks, then turning it down to 150 oC  for the last 10 minutes. These timing will depend on your oven but are a rough guide to start with.

Remove the pasty from the oven and serve hot with a pickled onion and a cuppa tea!

Here is a pasty mum made for Becky a few months ago, the afore-mentioned pasty then travelled back to Oxfordshire where it was devoured.

Becky's Pasty, Why the 'R' - you had better watch the video!

And my reluctant mum let me film her making this actual pasty so the secret to her success is out there! Apologies for the ropey video and noise from the lens zoom but together with the method above it will give you a good idea of how to make one. If anyone makes one please send me a picture and I will happily showcase your efforts! mysaffronbun@gmail.com

One of the best pasty shops in Cornwall is called Ann’s Pasties and is based on the Lizard. Why not give Ann’s pasties a go by ordering some online here.


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