Cornish Pasties


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

By Annie Gray

Published 2019

  • About

Cornish pasties are a food about which many myths circulate. The modern version generally contains beef, potato, and onions, with a rich, fat-based pastry, and has been given protected status. However, pasties have medieval origins and were widespread in the United Kingdom until the nineteenth century. Early pasties could contain any number of things, and most had very little meat, as it was so expensive. The Cornish pasty as we now know it emerged in London in the late nineteenth century and was more middle class than its vegetable-based country cousin. It spread rapidly throughout Britain and abroad, to the extent that earlier versions were almost forgotten. However, during the First World War, some authors revived pasties, as they were practical to make, could be filled with all sorts of ingredients, and were suitable for both elegant luncheons and marching off to the front, depending on their size, filling, and the chunkiness of their pastry. These are of the former type.