Flakey Cornish Pasties filled with creamy celery root, potatoes, leeks and pickled apples.
A few years ago, my husband and I bumped along the roads of Ireland with another couple. For one beautiful week, we toured castles, rambled rocky coasts, and relaxed over hardy, comforting food. One of my favorite meals while we were there was Cornish pasties, which actually hail from Cornwall.
For the uninitiated, traditional Cornish pasties are half-moon shaped flakey pastries stuffed with tender chunks of beef, potatoes, and onions — perfect fare for cold drizzly days of Ireland or Cornwall. When I migrated to a more vegetarian diet, I wanted to create a vegetarian version. Our favorite version features slightly mashed celery root, potatoes and Leek Confit, with a sprinkling of pickled apples and shallot for a little acid bite.
Feel free to make your own pastry, but I took a slightly easier path with store-bought frozen puff pastry since our kitchen was in the midst of being packed up for the kitchen remodel that started yesterday. If you’re throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party this year, or just staying home to enjoy a pint of your favorite beer, these make the perfect appetizer. Or add a salad for a great lunch or dinner.
At first glance, these Cornish pasties may appear to be complicated and involve a lot of ingredients. Most of the time is spent prepping the ingredients for the filling, it’s true. But the Leek Confit can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and the Pickled Apples and Shallots can be made at least one week in advance. If you want to make the entire filling in advance, no worries. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Then just roll out the dough, fill the pasties and bake them off for a party or quick weeknight dinner. If you want to form and fill the pasties in advance, I recommend freezing them until you’re ready to bake them off to prevent the dough from becoming soggy.
The Wimpy Vegetarian Table
The easiest meat to add to these little pastry packets is pork sausage. Just slice up and sauté in a little olive oil, and chop fairly finely. Divide the celery root filling between the vegetarian and omnivore and add the sausage to the omnivore’s portion. Fill the pastries and bake.
- 1 finely diced apple (about 1½ cups)
- ½ cup minced shallots (about 1 large)
- ¼ lemon
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced celery root
- 1 cup finely diced russet potato
- ¼ cup finely diced celery
- ½ cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp coarse pepper
- 2 Tbsp Leek Confit
- ½ tsp Dijon country mustard
- 2 Tbsp crème fraîche
- 2 Tbsp coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
- ¼ cup Quick Pickled Apples and Shallots (recipe below)
- Frozen puff pastry or short pastry pie dough
- Note: Make the Leek Confit and Pickled Apples and Shallots first so they can be cooking while you prep the vegetables to go into the Pasties. As a tip, these are both condiments I keep in my pantry to add to lots of dishes during the week.
- Place the diced apple and shallot in a medium bowl and squeeze a little lemon over the top. Combine the remaining Pickled Apples and Shallots ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer. Once the sugar and salt are dissolved into the liquid, pour over the apples and shallots, and soak for 30 minutes.
- Melt the butter and oil together in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery root, potatoes, and celery, and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in the broth, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes. All of the liquid should be absorbed.
- Lightly mash and stir in 2 tablespoons of Leek Confit, reserving the remaining confit for another use. Add the mustard, crème fraîche, Gruyere cheese, and ¼ cup Pickled Apples and Shallots. Allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400?F. Roll out thawed pastry and cut into 5” circles. I have a small bowl I use that’s the perfect size.
- Place 1 rounded tablespoon of Cornish Pasties Filling on one half of the circle, leaving a ½” border. Gently fold the other half of the pastry over the filling. Seal using the tines of a fork. Brush with butter and add a dusting of salt and pepper.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve warm.