Sunday, 4 November 2007

'Anything Off The Trolley, Dears?'

'Go on, have a pasty,' said Harry, who had never had anything to share before, or, indeed, anyone to share it with.
-Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling.

I know I'm too late for Halloween, quelle surprise, but since we had pumpkin floating around (not literally, or that really would be spooky) from our lantern, I decided to improvise a recipe with a bit of a theme...

Anyone who's read Harry Potter (oh come on, is there anyone in the world who HASN'T read Harry Potter?) will be familiar with pumpkin pasties, which make constant appearances across the series. My friends & I all love it, hence our themed party this summer when the last book came out:

(On the left is my best friend as Tonks, and on the right is me as Bellatrix ^__^ The fun to be had with spray cans of hair dye...)

So since I wasn't up to much on Halloween (our celebratory party was actually on Friday instead) I came over all Molly Weasley-esque and decided to recreate the food =D

My mum avoided the kitchen while I was cooking, as I generally don't like people hanging round, breaking her silence only to darkly predict that they would taste disgusting (she once tried to cook with pumpkin after Halloween with no success, and didn't want me to have a go apparently, haha) but they were actually lovely; just like a vegetarian version of a regular Cornish pasty. If I hadn't known it was pumpkin I'd have had no idea what the mystery ingredient was, to be honest.

Naturally my mother is extremely bitter about this as a result.

Pumpkin Pasties
My own recipe.
Makes 12- 13 pasties.
219 calories each (13) or 237 each (12)

1 tbsp olive oil
300g pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, cut into cubes
500ml hot vegetable stock
3 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp thyme
500g ready-to-use shortcrust pastry
about 50ml milk to glaze

1. Oven to about 220C (I did mine at 200C for 18mins but the higher temperature would shorten this a bit). Heat the olive oil in a large pan then add the chopped onion and cook for about five minutes, until softened and golden.

2. Cut the pumpkin into squares of about 1 or 2cm (mine was scooped from the inside of the pumpkin, so I just cut it into bits really). Add the pumpkin and cubes of potato to the pan, and season with salt, pepper & thyme. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil before leaving to simmer for ten minutes or so. The pumpkin should be tender.

3. When I did this I was hoping the liquid would mostly evaporate but it didn't really, so I stirred in the flour (one tablespoon at a time, see how much you need cause you might not want it all). Give it a good stir to get rid of lumps, and let the mixture thicken a bit over a low heat. It shouldn't be too sloppy, you're going to be putting it in a pastry circle. Leave to cool.

4. Roll out your pastry fairly thin (I was worried they'd be too thin, but it was fine, so there'll be enough). I used a smallish dessert bowl to cut around to make medium sized circles (at a guess, about 15cm across?) Cut out 12 or 13 circles.

5. I found that either one generous tablespoon or two stingy dessertspoons of filling was enough for the pastry circles, otherwise they'd collapse. Put the filling in the centre of the circle, then use a pastry brush to brush milk all around the outside. Fold the pasties in half, into a semi-circle, and use your fingers to press the edges firmly together. Then use a fork to print around the outside edges.

6. Brush the pasties all over with milk to glaze and place on a large baking tray in the oven at 200- 220C. They should take about 15 minutes (mine took 18 at 200C) but keep an eye on them; when the pastry is golden brown take them out, as obviously the filling is already cooked.

My friend Tonks (^__^) and I ate these pasties last night before going out to the bonfire and firework display near my house. What can I say, it was just like being on the Hogwarts Express. Sort of. If you used your imagination a bit.

Well alright, not really, but they were good pasties.


Anonymous said...

Pumpkin pasties!!! I've always wondered how those would taste like. Now now, if only my owl had sent me the invite to the party! Hehehe... :P

Anna said...

^__^ Shame about that unreliable postage method... oh well, I'll save you a cauldron cake next time!

Anonymous said...

It WAS like being on the hogwarts express. I verily enjoyed the pumpkin pasties. God I can't believe it's coming up to our Harry potter party anniversary. I'm so EXCITED already. i need a life.
love you

Anna said...

Hello beautiful! I totally squeed when I saw you'd commented, haha. ^__^
I knoww, I keep planning it then being like '...WHAT. YOU LOSER.' Haa, we win.
Love you moar

Anonymous said...

Personally, I highly recommend trying the extra-virgin olive oil from
Holy Food Imports.
It is imported to the US from Israel, and it is produced using cold presses,
as was the method over 3,000 years ago; so it has a really unique taste to it.