Pasties with Afters

dish ish goodh shtuff, uh-huh

dish ish goodh shtuff, uh-huh

Pasties (from Cornwall or maybe Devon) are basically a meal wrapped in dough and baked. I call it early fast food, portable and yummy (and as healthy as you decide to make it). “Afters” is what they call “dessert” in British Isles, obviously not people who eat their dessert first.

I first recall hearing about pasties with afters when out with my friend Cian and Meaigs in Ireland. They told the tale of miners eating these meal-in-a-rolls. The miners would make sure to only touch one end of it, which would then get covered in mining dirt from their hands, and then they’d toss that part.

I later read that tossing the end bit, appeases the knockers. Knockers are small ugly fairies who live in mines, and knock on the wall right before a cave-in. Silly? Maybe. I think it makes sense. You’re in a mine, it’s dangerous, and yes, these Knockers sound like a nutty children’s story, but what the hey, you’re not going to eat the end, and if the stories happen to be true, added bonus.

Oddly, within a month of being told of pasties, I was in Puerto Rico (long story), and I had several cheese empanadas, which seem to be pretty much the same thing except they were deep fried, and empanadas are thought to be originated from Fatayers, and Arab dish.

If you’re curious to know more, the best website I found by far on pasties is by Keith Ryan and his crew, the Pastypaedia

Anyhow. I put this recipe together after reading a bunch of recipes. I might try again with whole whea flour and less butter, to make it healthier. If I do, I’ll post it.

Of note: most recipes have you brush the dough with stirred egg white before baking, giving it a golden shellac. I love this idea, but was feeling lazy and didn’t do it.

a shot of both ends

a shot of both ends

Pasties with afters
Makes 6 pasties


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 stick butter
  • Maybe about a 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
  • Cold water.


  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 potato
  • 8 ounces of monterey jack cheese
  • package of veggie (or not) ground burger
  • a pat of butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 pear
  • a spoonful of jam
ingredients as well as dough over the pin (the pin in my case being a cloth covered wine bottle)
ingredients as well as dough over the pin (the pin in my case being a cloth covered wine bottle)


  1. Mix in the flour and pepper.
  2. Cut the butter up into cubes and toss in.
  3. Add water until it holds together as dough (wanting it a bit tougher than a pie crust, I put in a little more water than I normally would).
  4. Put the dough in fridge while chopping up the inside bits.


  1. toast one piece of bread lightly (still want a little bit of flexibility)
  2. Cut up the Insides into small pieces. (I also got a bag of mixed frozen veggies to add as well, but I totally forgot to put them in. Probably thaw them first.

sweet and savory, may but bread come betwixt


  1. Cut dough into 6 parts.
  2. Roll out one of the pieces of dough into a round disc. Do not make it as thin as pie crust, you don’t want it breaking (my first one I rolled thin, and it ended up with with holes).
  3. Put rolling pin under half of the rolled dough so only half of the dough is on the table.
  4. Put in the stuff. Potatoes first. Cheese on top (or throughout), to hopefully dribble down inside.
  5. If you add a seasoning, add it lightly between each layer.
  6. Put 2 spoons of flour on top, and then a couple pats of butter cut up on top of this, which will create a gravy.
  7. Divide the larger savory end from the smaller sweet end with the toast. Do this by cutting the toast in an oval-appropriate shape. I nibbled it into the correct shape, as I had toasted it too much and it was too hard to cut accurately. (That is what I did, based on a recipe I found. But I would actually recommend this method of sealing it with more dough, which Keith Ryan just posted two days ago)
  8. Put down a wee bit of jam, then the cut up pear bits, and then more jam. (Keith had blogged about his apples drying out, so I chose pears as a bit tougher)
  9. Put water on the lip, and glue together. Then twist/crimp edge. A good video showing this (crimping starts at 4:10):


I cooked it at 425F for 20 min and then 325 for an additional 40 min. But my convection toaster oven’s top burner has gone out, so I had to keep it in longer. I think those are good numbers though, but then you want to make sure it looks brown and yummy, so adjust time appropriately.


comics for sale

18 comments to Pasties with Afters

  • lambykins

    vewwwy dewishious. mmmmm!

  • JP

    Pasties are from Cornwall. There is a lovely lady there I chat with occasionally and she was amazed that I knew what they were. I’ve also seen them called Cornish meat pies.
    I’m from the U.P. of Michigan originally and there, every town, it seems, has someone who makes and sells them. Miners brought them over(lots of mining up there back in the old days, Iron and Copper) and it was an easy, tasty way to carry your lunch. The miners would pull them from their lunch box/bag/bundle and set the pasty on their shovel and hold that over the flame on their mining light to warm it a bit.
    They even got a web site,, for more Yooper goodness and one of the perfect hand foods out there.
    stop by during winter to see the Snow Thermometer.(only 282 inches of snow last winter!)

    My favorite is a simple standard pasty with potatoes, rutabaga, onions, and chopped or ground meat (best if it has little or no fat) and real butter in the dough or with lard. . . yum.
    You’ve made me hungry. I might go see if the pasty shop in Arlington, TX is still open.

    The Cornish lady is a vegetarian(by taste, not ethics, I’m told she makes a killer shepherds stew) and makes or buys a grilled veggies version.

  • Lee

    If you work in a Cornish tin mine there’s a good chance you’ll get toxic materials on your hands. Holding your lunchtime pasty by the ends and then throwing the ends away is a perfectly practical way to avoid poisoning yourself!

  • Chrissy

    I love this idea! My husband and kids love hotpockets – but these would be so much healthier. I think I have all the ingredients I need on hand – this just might be dinner tonight!

  • Celia

    Though these sound really tasty, pasties where I come from are not delicious food items but little pieces of shiny a burlesque dancer uses to cover her nipples. So when you announced proudly that you had made pasties!… well I was a bit confused.

  • JP: Cornwall or Devon is actually up for debate. But it’s generally accepted as Cornwall:

    And I love the anecdote you gave about the shovels. Very neat. :)

    Lee: Good point!

    Chrissy: If you send pictures, I’ll post ‘em! :)

    Celia: Yes, same word, although generally pronounced differently. Those are “PAY”sties, and these are “PAHH”sties (although there is a fair amount of debate on that pronunciation.

  • JP

    I shoulda noted that I was taking the Cornish view of my lady freind, and stating Fact(tm)(according to the Cornish).Although my Great Grandpa was,I think, born in Devon (Exeter I think), so the love of the little meat pie turn over is in the genes. . (~_^)

  • Uri

    um it looked to me like there was meat in the photo… and in the recipes on the pastypedia. So where is the meat on the list of ingredients?

  • Uri: I forgot to put that in my recipe, thanks! It’s Yves veggie (soy based) ground “burger.” I’ll add it in now. :)

  • David Brodbeck

    Wow, that takes me back to my college days in Houghton, MI. I’m going to have to try making these.

  • JP

    Houghton, MI.
    Home of Little Mac, Michigan Tech, and Snow. Lots of snow.

  • David Brodbeck

    Yup. That’s why, a couple years after graduating, I moved somewhere where there isn’t any snow unless I go out looking for it. ;)

  • In the spanish speaking world they are called empanadas, as you said, or arepas if done with corn dough. I specially like colombian and venezuelan arepas.

    My mom used to do some wicked fried empanadas filled with tuna, tomato, onion and boiled egg, but I actually prefer more meaty ones. If you can, try argentinian empanadas… the best ones are meat, nuts and either raisins or plump raisins so they are both filling and sweet.

  • Fireeater

    This sounded yummy, and I thought I might make some today, but it seems the recipe is unfinished. Baking temp and time? I imagine it’s a fairly long time in order to cook those potatoes through. Any issues with the pastry over-browning before the inside cooks thoroughly?

  • Hey Fireeater. Apparently I didn’t get enough sleep or something. I didn’t mention the burger, and now I find i didn’t even mention the temp and time. Sigh.

    I cooked it at 425 for 20 min and then 325 for an additional 40 min. But my convection toaster oven’s top burner has gone out, so I had to do it longer. I think those are good numbers, but then you want to make sure it looks brown and yummy, so adjust time appropriately.

    I’ll add this info to the recipe now. Doh!

  • Hi Folks – Christopher emailed me to say I was quoted here – thanks – I’m amazed that people around the world are interested in our pasties!

    The Pastypaedia section is about pasties and pasty-like dishes from around the world and I have just learned something new on here tonight – from El Hombre Malo – about arepas, so thanks again.

    If anyone wants information about pasties and can’t find it on the web site, you can email me, the link is at the bottom of the home page:

  • I forgot to say, we have another source of pasties in Cornwall, check out: Have to keep our traditions alive!

  • David Brodbeck

    I did mine before the cooking time/temp was posted. After consulting a couple of online recipes, I cooked mine at 375 F for 60 minutes. They were starting to brown at that point, and when I tested with a food thermometer they were plenty hot in the center, so I stopped there.

    They also freeze and reheat very well. I took a frozen one to work, put it in the office fridge until lunch time, then microwaved it for 3 minutes and it was delicious.