The pasty excitement is building here at Eden as the second World Pasty Championships on Saturday 2 March 2013 draws nearer. If you’re entering or if you just want to improve your pasty skills then you’ll want to read these top tips from reigning pasty champion Graham Cornish of Launceston here in Cornwall.
Graham cleaned up at last year’s championships, winning both the Cornish Pasty Professional and the Open Savoury Professional categories. He’s chosen not to enter this year but he will be giving visitors the opportunity to sample his prize-winning pasties on the day.
10 tips for the perfect Cornish pasty
Whilst Graham’s recipes remain secret, he’s shared his top ten tips for the perfect pasty whether it’s a traditional family favourite or a new invention:
- Make the pastry one day for the next to allow the gluten to relax.
- Ensure you have enough crimps to produce a small crimp; Graham’s pasties normally have 23.
- Don’t put the crimp flat on the baking sheet or else it will dry out on baking.
- Buy the ingredients fresh and locally.
- Recipes are never the same, some days an onion will be strong, others it might be mild and watery. Adapt the recipe to work.
- For baking, start off in a high oven to seal the pastry, and then turn down until the pasty is baked.
- The water content of pastry will be different most days, owing to absorption rates and what’s in the atmosphere.
- For the non-purists, pasties can work with other fillings, like peppered steak with horseradish and clotted cream for example.
- Keep the pastry cool, you want the fats to melt in the oven not in the kitchen.
- To get a great glaze, enrich it with extra egg yolk and salt to achieve a glossy and crisp finish (this last tip came from chef Michel Roux).
Enter the 2013 World Pasty Championships
Registration for this year’s World Pasty Championships closes on 28 February 2013 so (at the time of writing) there’s still time to register and perfect your pasties for the big day.
Get more pasty-making tips on our how to make a Cornish pasty video.