The most famous pasty is probably the Cornish pasty which is filled with a combination of cheap cuts of beef and root vegetables. The concept is however endlessly variable and can be made to incorporate sweet ingredients, savory ingredients, or even a combination of both. Apple actually works very well with chicken and with mushrooms so this end of season, autumnal themed recipe is an excellent way of perhaps using up some of the apples grown on your own trees as an alternative to apple pie or other apple based desserts.
Ingredients (Makes 1 Large Pasty)
- 1 skinless chicken breast fillet
- ½ Bramley or similar cooking suitable apple
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 medium sized chestnut mushrooms
- ¼ small white onion
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- Salt and pepper
- ½ pound puff pastry
- Flour for rolling pastry
- Beaten egg for glazing
- Oil for greasing baking tray
Cut the core from the half apple by making two cuts in the shape of a "v" and discard. Peel the apple and chop it to around three-quarter inch pieces.
Add the apple pieces to a bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. It doesn't matter if you inadvertently get any lemon pips in the bowl as they can easily be discarded when the apple is drained. Pour enough cold water in to the bowl to cover all the pieces. Leave to steep for ten minutes. This procedure prevents the apple oxidizing and becoming discolored.
The chicken breast should be laid on a chopping board and also chopped to three-quarter inch pieces
Drain the pieces of apple and pat dry with kitchen paper. Add to a large bowl along with the chicken. Wash, dry and quarter the mushrooms before adding them to the bowl, along with the peeled and finely sliced onion quarter, each slice separated out in to individual strands. Season with the dried sage and some salt and pepper. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine.
Roll out the pastry on a clean, dry, lightly floured surface in to a square just large enough that you can use a thirteen inch dinner plate as a template to cut from it a circle. Be sure to use the blunt edge of a knife to cut the pastry to avoid damaging your surface.
Spoon the pasty filling on to one half of the pastry circle, leaving a border of around an inch and a half around the edge. This border should be lightly brushed with beaten egg.
Fold the empty half of the pastry over the filling and carefully crimp around the edge to seal. Leave the assembled pasty to rest while your oven preheats to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
When the oven is heated, lightly rub some vegetable oil over a baking tray with some scrunched up kitchen paper. Lift the pasty on to the tray with a large spatula and glaze all over with more beaten egg, paying particular attention to the folds of the crimped edge. Cut a steam vent or two in the top of the pasty to prevent it bursting during cooking. Put the tray in to the oven to cook for thirty-five to forty minutes until the pastry is golden.
When the pasty comes out of the oven, it should be lifted on to a wire rack to rest for ten minutes before being served.
Chicken, Mushroom and Apple Pasty Serving Suggestion
While a pasty of this size serves as a satisfying meal for one person, it can be made to serve two people by serving half of it per person with a suitable accompaniment. Crispy potato wedges roasted in duck or goose fat make an excellent such accompaniment and are very easy to prepare.
The first part of making the wedges has to be undertaken prior to starting to make the pasty unless you elect to serve the pasty cold or re-heated. Wash a large baking potato per person and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut it in half along its length and chop each half in to four wedges. Put the wedges in to a pot or bowl with plenty of cold water to steep for ten minutes to get rid of the excess starch.
Drain the wedges and put them in to a pot with plenty of fresh cold water. Season with salt and put the pot on to a high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat and maintain a gentle simmer for ten minutes only. Drain the wedges at your sink through a colander or sieve and allow to steam off for ten minutes. Transfer to a suitable dish, laying them out in a single layer, and refrigerate for a minimum half hour.
When you put your pasty in to the oven, add two tablespoons of duck or goose fat to an ovenproof dish and place the dish in to the oven for fifteen minutes to get the fat melted and very hot. Lay the wedges straight from the fridge in to the hot fat and very carefully turn them around with a wooden spoon or cooking tongs to evenly coat. Roast in the oven for half an hour, turning half way through cooking. They should be ready about ten minutes after the pasty, when the latter has had time to rest.
Lift the potato wedges with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain for a minute or so before halving the pasty and plating up.