British Cheese and Onion Pasty is simply a flaky pastry filled with cheese and onion mixed with a little mashed potato. This recipe is truly just like mum used to make (at least mine) with really good, authentic English cheddar cheese.
There are many savory varieties of the British pasty (sometimes called bakes). You may be familiar with the Cornish Pasty, which is meat and vegetable filled. In Scotland, they call them ‘bridie’. There are also steak pasties and chicken pasties.
In addition to pasties (or hand pies, the American version of a pasty) individual Meat Pies and the famous Sausage Roll, are some of the most popular British convenience foods.
Pasties make a great meal on-the-go, and one of the largest countrywide chains in the U.K is Gregg’s bakery. This original bakery started in the Northeast of England in 1939, and literally serves millions of pastries every year. But the pasty has been a British favorite since the 13th century.
What pastry is best for cheese pasty?
Homemade pastry or pre-made puff pastry will both work.
A typical cheese and onion pasty is filled with cheese, onion and is mixed with a little mashed potato. Typically made with homemade pie-crust pastry, but I also like to use puff pastry.
Why is there potato is cheese and onion pasty?
It acts as a binder to keep the filling together otherwise, the melted cheese will ooze out.
Can you freeze a homemade pasty?
Yes, they are best frozen before baking. Just defrost and bake according to recipe.
How long with homemade pasties keep?
Pasties will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up 5 days. To reheat, put on a tray and put into a cold oven. Turn on the oven to 300°F/150°C and heat them for 10-15 minutes. What this does is heat them slowly from the inside out so they are warmed through.
Flaky pastry filled with cheese, onion and a little potato
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour15 minutes
For homemade pastry:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out pastry
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (200 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes kept refrigerated until ready to use
⅔ cup (150 ml) cold water (approximately)
For the filling:
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into chunks (you need to yield 1 cup/225 grams of mash)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 ½ cups yellow onion, chopped
3 cups (184 grams) white cheddar, grated
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
1 egg, whisked with a little milk
For the pastry (skip this step if using puff pastry):
To a make the pastry a food processor: Add the flour salt and butter. Pulse until the butter is broken into small balls. With the processor running, very slowly drizzle in the water until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball. Stop the water immediately. You may not use all the water, or you may need a little more.
To make the pastry by hand: Add the flour, salt and butter to a large bowl. Using your fingertips (or a pastry cutter) rub the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the water and mix using a fork until the it starts to come together and holds together when pressed in your hand. You may not need all of the water, or you may need a little more.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. If the dough is too crumbly, add a little more water in tiny amounts. If too dry, do the same with flour. Roll the dough to a rectangle. Fold the edge furthest away from you to the center and fold the edge closest to you to the center so the edges meet. Turn 1/4 and roll out to a rectangle and fold the same way again. This step will make the dough light and flaky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Add the potato to a large pan and cover with water, Boil for 12-15 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork, drain and mash.
While the potato cooks, add the oil and butter to a frying pan over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the onion and cook, stirring until softened. Remove and transfer to a mixing bowl along with the mashed potato and cheese, mix well. You want soft creamy mash, not crumbly. If it is too dry, add a little warm milk. Taste and add salt if needed.
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the the pastry large enough to cut out 7-inch (18 cm) circles. Add 3 heaped tablespoons of filling to each. Brush half of the edge with the egg wash and fold over the pastry to make a half circle. Use a fork to press and seal the edge. Transfer to the baking sheet.
Brush all pasties with the egg/milk wash. Cut 2 slits in the tops of each.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Time will vary depending on your oven.
4 Comments on “British Cheese and Onion Pasty”
I made them but found to much water was in the dough, so I added more flour
How did they turn out overall? I’d love the feedback since this is a relatively new recipe. Thanks.
This sounds a bit like Polish pierogies.
Yes, but I think the dough is a little different.