Showing posts with label cornish pastry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cornish pastry. Show all posts

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcome, guest author Joanna Campbell Slan!

Please welcome multi-published author Joanna Campbell Slan. Her newest book—Death of a Schoolgirl—features Jane Eyre as an amateur sleuth.  How clever is that!  Joanna is also the author of the Agatha Award-nominated series that stars Kiki Lowenstein. 

Take it away, Joanna.

A Savory to Die For: Cornish Pasties

Author’s note: As I write this, I’m on Day #30 of the Hcg diet. Since I’m only allowed 500 calories a day, telling all of you about Cornish pasties is an act of love. Yes, I’m a mystery author who would KILL for a Cornish pasty right about now!


While the word “sandwich” first appeared in 1762, a reference to the “pasty” can be dated to the 1300s, making “pasties” (pronounced PASS-tees) a much older form of convenience food. But only in the last 200 years have pasties taken on their particularly Cornish identity, because miners found these savory meat pies perfect for taking with them down into the bowels of the earth.

The distinctive “D” shape of the delicacy figures into their history, because the one-sided crimped crust created a useful handle when heating the food.

I remember my first pasty very well. While wandering the streets of Windsor, England, my girlfriends and I were caught in a light rain. Being both hungry and wet, we ducked into the tiny West Cornish Pasty Shop on Peascod Street. Oh, my! What a happy visit that was.

            The crust warmed my hands and the filling warmed my tummy.

 Since then, I’ve been a devoted fan of pasties, a Cornish meat and veg pie. In fact, I’m lucky enough to live not far from a real pasty shop in Vienna, Virginia! PURE PASTY. Given my affection for these treats, you can see why when I was writing Death of a Schoolgirl, I decided that Jane would have to buy a pasty when her carriage stopped at a coaching inn. The hosteler’s wife hands Jane the still-warm pie inside a muslin bag. Unfortunately, Jane only gets one bite before a thief steals her food!

Eager to try a pasty? The Pure Pasty folks will ship them to you. Or you can make your own.

Cornish Pasty Recipe


1 lb. ground sirloin (a piece of sirloin or chuck cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 rutabaga, cut into cubes
2 potatoes, cut into cubes
1 cube beef bouillon
1 T. catsup
Salt and pepper


Pre-made pie crust, enough for a double crust
Beaten egg

Take pie crust out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

Crush bouillon cube in catsup. Combine together filling ingredients. Mix in bouillon cube and catsup. (You might also like to add a dab of Heinz 57 Sauce. I do!)

Roll out pie crust on floured surface. Cut into four large circles. (Turn a bowl upside down and use it as a pattern!) Divide filling uniformly, heaping it in center of circles. Lift sides and pinch together to form letter “D.” Crimp edges together with fork. Cut several ½” slits in top of each pasty. Brush with beaten egg and put on cookie sheet.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Photograph, permission from Michael Burgess, owner of Pure Pasty! Oh, yum!

* * * * *

For more information about Joanna go to her website:

Click this link to purchase DEATH OF A SCHOOLGIRL.