“A pasty, sometimes known as a pastie or British pasty in the United States, is a filled pastry case, associated in particular with Cornwall in Great Britain.” –Wikipedia
Just to clear things up.
“Oh, shoo. She’s on that pumpkin kick again.” Tempted, but no. One of my Christmas gifts this year was, check it, The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, written by Dinah Bucholz. I guess my Harry Potter journey began (imagine the celesta starting to play Hedwig’s theme) one summer while in college when all of my friends either went home or got jobs in other areas. So, I was left to work and do other random nonsense in Columbia, like read. It was then that I realized that J.K. Rowling was a flippin’ genius and, despite my roommates’ pleas for me to leave my bedroom and their desperate attempts to keep me alive by shoving cookies and PB&Js under my door, I ended up reading the first six books in a little over a month. My hair was thin and my nails torn unbearably short while I anticipated the release of the final installment and, because I was out-of-town, sent my very non-dorkish sister to the bookstore in the midst of the robe-wearing, wand-waving, spell-screaming Potter wannabes at the store’s book release party. She survived. And I got my book.
Harry and his friends ate lots of really cool, very traditionally British, sometimes very interesting foods. These pumpkin pasties showed up several times throughout the series (Bucholz specifically cites the Sorcerer’s Stone, chapter 6) and guess what? Muggles can eat them now, too. Sheesh. Nerd. Right here.
I will mention that I changed the pasty crust recipe slightly, as I don’t like to use shortening. Instead, I just used all butter. Also, I mixed the crust mixture by hand rather than using a food processor.
harry potter’s pumpkin pasties
1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tbsp natural cane sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
4-6 tbsp ice water
1 cup roasted pumpkin purée
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl to combine. Scatter the very cold butter in the flour mixture and quickly crumble it into the flour until it resembles little peas or coarse meal. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of cold water over the mixture. Toss the mixture together until it starts clumping together. If it’s too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time (better too wet than too dry). Gather the dough into a ball (you may need to turn it onto a floured surface and knead a few times to keep it together) and pat it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.
For the filling, combine the pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Preheat the oven to 400º. Roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Use a saucer to cut out 6-inch circles.
Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Moisten the edges with water, fold the dough over the filling, and crimp with a fork to seal the edges. Cut slits to make vents (you are also welcome to brush the tops of the pasties with an egg wash for a more golden-brown color). Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes or until browned.
I hope you enjoy this little hunk of Harry’s world. Pretend you’re on the Hogwarts Express while eating these. Oh. And my very non-dorkish sister? Yeah. She is now obsessed with HP. It happens to the best of us.