I do love a pasty. It does everything it promises. It doesn’t lie, fool around or break your heart. A pasty nourishes you, fills you, comforts and cuddles you from the inside out. It doesn’t need a frilly garnish or a poncey sauce to make it more attractive. It’s simple, loving, and at times when you might need it most – your very best friend. I truly believe Soured Cream Pastry is one of the easiest pastries in the world. Why it isn’t the first one anyone ever makes, I don’t know. Shortcrust is a tough nut to crack and not very easy, so why on earth do they teach it to beginners? If everyone made soured cream pastry first, it would give them the confidence to try other pastries. It rarely goes wrong, has a wonderful texture, is easy to roll out and when cooked, is light, buttery and very similar in texture to flaky or puff pastry. Serve these little friends with nothing more complicated than a dressed ripe tomato salad with a sprinkling of chives and a glass of cold cider.
- For the pastry
- 175g/6oz plain flour
- 150g/5oz unslated butter, cubed and chilled
- 7 tablespoons soured cream
- flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- For the filling:
- 25g/1oz butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 450g/1lb minced lamb
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5mm/1/4 inch dice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Tomato salad, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C/fan oven 180C/Gas mark 6. Aga 4/3/2-door grid shelf on floor of roasting oven.
- To make the pastry, place the flour in food processor with the chilled and cubed butter. Whizz the flour and butter together until it resembles bread crumbs Add the soured cream and whizz again until the pastry just starts to come together. Turn the mixture out onto a floured work-surface and gently knead it together until a dough is formed. Chill for 1 hour.
- For the filling, melt the butter in a small frying pan over a gentle heat, add the maple syrup and the sliced onion. Stir well and cook gently for 15 minutes.
- Place the cooked onion, lamb, potato and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water and season with the salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Divide the pastry into 4 equal pieces. Dust a worksurface with flour and roll out each piece to form a circle approx. 20cm/8inches in diameter. Cut the pastry out using a plate - it doesn't have to be bang on 20cm/8inch.
- Spoon the lamb and vegetable mixture into the centre of each pastry circle and then place a couple of rosemary leaves on top. Brush around the edges with some water and then bring the sides up over the filling and crimp the edges to seal.
- Place the pasties on baking sheets and brush them with beaten egg. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. If they look a little too brown after 25 minutes loosely cover with some foil and continue to cook. Serve the pasties with a tomato salad and a glass of cider.