Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Eating food in Cornwall

On a short trip to Cornwall I tasted some traditional and some modern style food.
It is not always easy doing that, when you travel with a coach tour. Often you have a stop at some petrol service stations or eat food at the Hotel. But during free time I was able to have a go at local food. When you talk to people and tell them you like their food, they are all very helpful and you get often their family recipes.

One very traditional kind of food are the Cornish Pasties, a meat and veggie filled pastry with a crimped crust, that was eaten by the miners in the pewter mines. Since pewter is poisonous, the miners held the pasties along the crimped crust and eaten the middle out of it, without polluting the food, then they thrown out the crimped rest from the pastry. Sometimes the filling was even with a bit of sweet stuff, so the men in the mines had their dessert in the same pasty. The crimping was even signed and you could see where the sweet filling started.

250 g  flour
125 g Butter or you could use half butter and half lard
a pinch of salt
1  egg
2-3 tbsp water

2 large potatoes
1 onion
1 swede of parsnip
250 stewing steak
1/2  tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 pinch of nutmeg, 1 pinch of thyme, some of a beef stock cube crumbled

Make a quick dough and let it rest 30 min in the fridge.
Make 4 equal pieces and roll the out on a floured surface. Fill the with finely chopped veggies and meat. Close the dough  so it makes a half moon and with some water around the edges close it. You need to crimp the edge so that the filling can´t escape. It needs a bit of practise. Use 2 fingers and fold the dough over. Brush it with some egg wash and bake it in the oven at 200 C 30 min, the reduce the heat to 180 C and bake 30 min more. Eat warm or reheat it the other day.

The other wonderful treat is Cornish Cream Tea. You can find it everywhere in local cafes or restaurants. A kind of scone that is eaten with jam and clotted cream, a thick and rich cooked double cream. Served with the traditional pot of tea. That is a feast. Since this scones were so amazing I asked for the recipe and it is super easy.

500 g plain flour
15 g baking powder
a pinch of salt
100 g caster sugar
100 g diced butter
250 ml milk

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the  butter into the mix, add the milk and mix well. Knead it gently until it becomes a soft dough.
Roll it out on a floured surface 2.5 cm thick and cut 5 cm rounds. Place them on baking paper and brush them with egg wash and a bit of sugar to sprinkle on top - bake at 200 C for 15 min.

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