Baker’s Recipe: Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties

A pasty (or pastie) is a name given to a folded pastry crust that is filled with all manner of ingredient and baked. The most famous being the Cornish pasty – a meat and vegetable filled pasty product hailing from the southern portion of England – which may have its origins dating all the way back to the early 1500s. Though traditionally a savory delight, sweeter versions are not uncommon these days especially in the southern United States where the pasty has a very rich following, taking on appearances like the turnover.

With origins in the Middle Ages, they may have been some of the first “foods on the go”, becoming a handy alternative for travelers or those who could not readily afford utensils. Certainly a better alternative than Go-Gurt and cereal bars.

In the world of Harry Potter the pumpkin pasty is another concoction (along with the Cauldron Cake) sold aboard the Hogwarts Express. Though never explicitly stated as being a sweet, when sold amongst candies and other dessert like pastry, we can only assume that it was not quite the same traditional savory pasty. Though given the versatility of the dish adapting it for either sweet or savory applications requires very little effort.

The pumpkin pasties took center stage at our Potter Party, being the most substantial component that also wasn’t entirely made of sugar. Plus, the pumpkin is both a fruit and a vegetable so there’s at least a bit of nutrition there.

Pumpkin Pasties
Makes around a dozen and a half pasties. Note: recipe takes several hours in total preparation.

Pie Crust
See Apple Pie for recipe, left over dough can be used for Treacle Tart

1/2 can of pumpkin, around 1 cup
2/3 cup of sugar
1 egg
5 ounces of evaporated milk (1/2 cup + 1/8 of a cup)
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of all spice

Mixing bowl
Baking pan
Baking sheet
Rolling pin
Dough cutter

Preheat oven to 425. It is wise to mix together the pie crust dough first and allow it to rest while the filling is prepared. Depending on the humidity and temperature, you may find more success in chilling the dough prior to rolling it out.

Combine all the filling ingredients and mix thoroughly until even. Pour into greased baking pan/bundt pan and smooth out to ensure even distribution. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 35-45 minutes, or until the custard sets. Set aside and allow to cool.

To assemble the pasties, roll out dough and cut into 4-inch circles. Spoon pumpkin in then crimp with a fork to seal. Be sure not to overfill or else they will burst during baking. Cut a few small slits in the top for venting (perhaps in the shape of a lightning bolt).

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until crust is golden. Let cool. Serve dusted with cinnamon sugar, with whipped cream for dipping or some leftover butterscotch from making Butterbeer Cupcakes.