The Perfect Traditional Cornish Pasty Recipe

Cornish pasty
Andy Stewart London / Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 Pastries (4 Servings)
Ratings (159)

The Cornish pasty is known and loved throughout Great Britain and has long been part of our culinary heritage. It is believed the pasty evolved for Cornish tin miners, who, unable to return to the surface at lunchtime had a hearty, easy to hold and eat, lunch dish. With their hands often dirty from a morning's work, the pasty could be held by the thick pastry crust without contaminating the contents.

The traditional Cornish pasty recipe is perfect for a lunch box but also makes a great main course dish when served with fresh vegetables and must be considered one of the first-to-go foods. 

Note: In 2011 Cornish Pasties were given a PDO Status, and though not made precisely to their criteria, it is nonetheless a great pasty.

What You'll Need

  • For the Pastry: 
  • 1 cup (110 g.) plain, all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 oz. (55 g.) butter or half lard and butter, cubed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon cold water
  • For the Filling: 
  • ¼ cup (50 g.) onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (110 g.) potato, cut into 1/4 inch /5 mm dice
  • ½ cup (110 g.) cut swede into 1/4 inch /5 mm dice
  • ½ cup (110 g.) rump steak, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

How to Make It

Makes two pasties
Pre-heat oven to 220 C/425 F  Gas 7.

Make the Pastry

First, make the shortcrust pastry - if you are short of time then use a ready made pastry. 

  • Place the flour, butter and salt into a large, clean bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.
  • Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry,
  • Wrap the dough in Saran wrap/Clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
  • Note: The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill as above.

Make the Pasty

  • Divide the pastry into 4 and roll each piece into rounds the size of a tea plate (approx 6 - 7 inches).
  • Place the onion, potato, swede and meat into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the meat mixture between each pastry circle and place to one side. Brush the edges with beaten egg.
  • Fold the circle in half over the filling so the two edges meet. Crimp the two edges together to create a tight seal. Brush each pasty all over with the remaining beaten egg.
  • Place the pasties on a greased baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve hot or cold.

A traditional pasty will be crimped on the side not across the top, crimp however you feel comfortable, it will taste just as good either way. 

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 372
Total Fat 21 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
Unsaturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 137 mg
Sodium 487 mg
Carbohydrates 21 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 24 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)