This retro English recipe, similar to the classic Cornish pasty, is adapted from the No Frills Family Cookbook, a collection of dishes and techniques originally developed to use the utilitarian house brand products from the old school British Kwik Save grocery chain. While the shop’s iconic 7-pence can of beans is no longer available, we find that classic Heinz baked beans are an excellent, still economical, and widely available substitute. The pasties may be made in advance and frozen until required. To reheat, place the frozen pasties on a baking sheet and cook in a 350° F oven until heated through.
- 1 Tbsp. (½ oz.) unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (1⅓ cups)
- 2 thick slices English-style bacon or ham, finely diced (⅓ cup)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (¼ cup)
- 7 oz. (¾ cup) canned baked beans
- Kosher salt
- 1½ cups (4 oz.) coarsely grated mild white cheddar cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- All purpose flour for rolling the dough
- 14 oz. prepared pie dough (store bought or homemade), softened slightly
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven (with one of its racks positioned in the center) to 350°F.
Meanwhile, make the filling: in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter; when the foam begins to subside, add the onion, bacon, and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is wilted and translucent and the carrot is tender, 7–8 minutes. Stir in the baked beans and continue cooking until, combined, heated through, and the juices have reduced slightly, 2–3 minutes more. Season to taste with kosher salt set aside to cool to room temperature.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and a rolling pin, then roll the pie dough out to a scant ¼-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch round biscuit cutter, punch 12 circles from the sheet. Form any remaining dough into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze for another use. Brush the edges very lightly with beaten egg, then use a spoon to scoop a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Top each with a generous pinch of grated cheese, then fold the edges of one round in half upwards to enclose the filling, while squeezing out any excess air and pressing the edges together tightly to seal. Continue folding the rest of the circles, then arrange the pasties, evenly spaced with at least one inch between each of them, on the lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pasties lightly with egg wash, then transfer to the oven and bake until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving either hot, warm, or cold.