Sunday, January 1

Barkham Blue, Parsnip & Swede Pasties

I am concerned about my after work diet. By the time I get in from the pub kitchen and have taken a shower, it is usually close to 11pm. Scotch eggs, hula hoops and a can of lager are my weapons of choice to slay my hunger, but I am pretty sure these don't go toward your 'five a day'.  I had some odds and ends of veg left in the fridge from Christmas including some blue cheese and knocked up a batch of these pasties to munch on the way to bed. Ok....a pasty is not much healthier that a scotch egg but it is home made and that has got to stand for something....right?

I have used shortcrust pastry on these pasties and the 'half fat to flour' rule applies. This makes really short pastry meaning it is very crumbly and crisp once cooked, but also a little tricky to work with. If you make a hole in your pastry just patch it up with a little egg wash and a blob of left over pastry - they don't have to be perfect.

Plain Flour - 300g
Lard or Beef Dripping - 75g
Butter - 100g
2 eggs
1/2 a large onion, finely sliced
1/2 a small swede, peeled and finely diced
1 small parsnip - peeled and finely diced
Barkham Blue or another cheese of your choice - 100g, crumbled
Salt and Pepper

In a food processor mix the lard and 75g of the butter into the flour with a generous pinch of salt until fully incorporated. Then add one egg with the blades still running until the pastry starts to come together - this should take no more that 20 seconds. Stop the machine and squeeze some of the dough in your hand, if it feels a little dry and is not coming together, add a tablespoon or two of milk and blitz for another 20 seconds.  Make the pastry into a ball, cling and refrigerate.

With the remaining butter sweat the onions, parsnip and swede very gently with a few tbsp of water until very soft - cover with baking parchment or a tight fitting lid to generate some steam and speed up the process. Once the veg is soft boil off any excess water, season and allow to cool. While still warm, crumble in the cheese then allow the mix to go completely cold.

Divide your pastry into four equal balls and on a floured surface, roll out to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut round a suitable round side plate to make a circle and place a quarter of the filling on one half of the pastry leaving a 2cm boarder clear. Beat the other egg and egg wash half the pastry edge, fold over the pasty to make a half moon and seal. You can crimp the edges with a fork or fingers to seal and make a pretty edge if you wish. Egg wash to top of the pasties to make them go glossy and golden in the oven.

Repeat for the other 3 then transfer to a non stick back in tray and bake at 200c for 30 to 40 mins until golden. I like to egg wash my pasties again half way through cooking to give a really golden end result.

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