Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spinach and Feta Cheese Pasties

I've been meaning to make pasties for ages.  They're a traditional food from Cornwall.  In the old days they were portable meals for farmers, they had meat at one end and a sweet filling at the other - the original "to go" food. Instead of using meat I thought I'd go with spinach and feta - a combination my girls love - so I've really ended up with Spanakopitas Pasties! Nothing too traditional about that - but they tasted great.

Shortcrust Pastry.

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
8 oz cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
1 cup iced water


1 large or 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
Olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2, 10 oz bags of frozen spinach, thawed
2 eggs
6 oz feta cheese
Zest of a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
black pepper

1 egg - for egg wash

Heat the oven to 425F

To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times.

Add the butter a few pieces at a time, pulsing all the time.  Add the egg yolk and water and process until the mixture just comes together.

Place the mixture onto a flour surface and gently press together. 

Place it onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile make the filling.  Saute the onion in the olive oil and butter for approx 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue sauteing for another few minutes or until the onions are turning golden. Take off the heat and set aside to cool a little.

Squeeze all the water out of the spinach.  Place in a bowl, add the eggs, pepper, feta cheese, lemon zest and juice.  Combine thoroughly. Add the onion mixture and combine.

Roll out the pastry and cut into circles as big or small as you wish. Place them on a baking sheet sprinkled with a tablespoon of flour to prevent sticking.

Paint the edge of the circles with beaten egg.  Place some of the filling onto the middle of the circle, fold up the sides and pinch together to form a pasty.  Egg wash the top of the pasty.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

When all the pasties are ready place the baking sheet into the oven for 15 minutes. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue cooking for approx 20 -40 minutes depending on the size of the pasties.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.


  1. amazing Mary!! This is one of my favorites food! and love you give the shortcrust recipe!! lovely!
    Normally I love to make the dough!

  2. I've never tasted a pastie. But this looks delicious. I need to expand my cooking horizons! thanks.

  3. I remember loving these when my husband and I were living in London for a year...thanks for this recipe, the crust looks fabulous. I'd love to see a meat recipe as well ;)

  4. I would love to make these, but I quite frankly am not going to make a dough. I know, I know, it's a moral shortcoming. What kind of packaged dough could I use? Pizza, pie, other? You know to find me at scrout1944@msn.com

  5. Those could be trouble - I'd eat way too many! They look delicious.

  6. Yum!! I haven't had pasties in a very long time....craving some right now!

  7. Ii'm so happy you posted this recipe! I always drool over these in London when visiting my daughter - the aroma when you pass one of the little shops is amazing but I'm sure homemade is WAY better! I love the shortcrust dough, YUM!!

  8. These pastries look delicious. Great that you made the crust from scratch!

  9. These look great and the outsides really authentic! (I don't eat egg, so I'd leave that out though.) I have a veggie Cornish pasties recipe on my blog- do drop by and tell me what you think.. www.theyogivegetarian.blogspot.com

  10. oh I'd like to eat one right now!

  11. i never had pasties but we do have some puffs that look quite like them , also with some savoury filling, the crust looking great!

  12. Great idea for a filling. I will have to have a go, I usually go for filo pastry with the spinach and feta and vegetables and spices for the pasties. It is time to spread my wings :)

  13. Why is it that I love savory pastry treats even more than sweets? I want these now.

  14. My mom used to make Pasties but nothing like these! Hers were filled with meat and potatoes. I love your version...they sound so delicious!

  15. I LOVE pasties and I have only ever eaten meaty pasties... this sounds so great! And I love that you've shared the pastry recipe too! Can't wait to try this one! Great post, Mary! Thank you :)

  16. Those look so good Mary, what a wonderful adaptation of a traditional recipe. I love what you have done! xxoo

  17. I love these, Mary and the pastry sounds very do-able. The spinach and feta is a great choice for these, too - yum!

    When you have a sec, take a look at my last post - I have an award for you:-).

  18. Oh I just love these, spinach stuffed dough there is nothing better.

  19. I love your spanakopitakia,dear!(=small spinach pies)!It sounds so greek and delicious!A big greek kiss!

  20. This reminds me of the Greek dish Spanikopita (might be spelled wrong) but easier. It looks delicious!

  21. I don't know if I've ever had a pastie! Looks like something I would like, I know that! :)

  22. I never had a pastie before! I like the idea of a meal and dessert all rolled into one. They look so flaky and the filling rocks!

  23. These pasties look very mouth-watering! I would love make some for my family too.

  24. Oh, gosh, I could eat a whole plateful of these beauties! What a marvelous idea...YUM!

  25. Oh my, those look scrumptious! I feel like I could eat ten of those right now. :)

  26. These pastie's look awesome and I love hearing the history behind them.

  27. Ok, I can not resist telling you that the first time an English friend of mine mentioned going out to buy "pasties" I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Let's just say that I hadn't heard of this variety before. ;)

    Yours look delicious! That is a perfect crust.

  28. I love pasties and this would be really different. When we lived in England (Suffolk) we only had meat and veg ones. My daughter is going to love these.


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