This dough is a slightly wetter version of the dough that I use for top-crimped pasties. But either one is very wet compared to pie dough of the kind you bake in a pan. That extra toughness is of course what allows the pasty to maintain its shape without the help of a mold. So, fear not the water, pie bakers! It’ll all work out just fine in the end. Here’s the formula for a very supple, easy-to-handle pasty dough:
12 ounces all-purpose (AP) flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 ounces lard (or shortening if you prefer), cold and in pieces
3 ounces butter, cold and in pieces
6 ounces cool water
Preheat your oven to 400. Whisk together flour and salt. Add the fat and work it in with your fingers until you get than corn meal consistency everyone always talks about. Add about half your water and work it in gently by hand until the entire mixture is moist, then add the rest of the water and keep mixing gently by hand, just until a dough is formed. The nice thing about pasty dough is that it doesn’t have to sit in the refrigerator to chill. It’s ready to use just as soon as it’s mixed.
For the filling, you’ll need:
12 ounces pork, cubed small
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium yellow turnip (rutabaga), cubed small
1 russet potato, sliced thin
salt an pepper to taste
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
Begin by cutting the dough into four roughly 5.5 ounce pieces. Roll each into a ball. To make pasties, select a ball and roll it out to a roughly 10″ circle. Drape the half of the circle closest to you over your rolling pin, which will make the final flip easier, plus provide you with a backstop up against which you can stack your ingredients. Remember to salt and pepper each layer of ingredients as you lay them in. Start with the sliced potatoes, then the onions, turnips and finally the pork.
Moisten the outer edge of the pastry circle with water and flip the top half of the dough circle over, enclosing the filling. Press the edge to seal, and crimp. Poke a few steam holes in the top of the pasty with a fork, and paint the pie with egg wash. Bake at 400 for twenty minutes, then lower heat to 350 and bake and additional 20-30 minutes.
Makes four meal-sized pasties.