Basically, a pasty (pronounced pass-tee) is a pocket of dough filled with meat, vegetables, or sweets. Kind of like an empanada. In case you're wondering, this is what they typically look like. In the good, old fashioned England times, worker men would take pasties in their lunches because they were essentially fully-contained party bags for your stomach.
I don't know how pasty'ish this recipe is because they actually look and taste nothing like any pasties I've ever had. (My qualifications? I did spend a short amount of time living in London, I was married to a Brit, and I eat a lot of food.) They seem more like rugelach, if you ask me. But they're still really, really delicious and definitely worth your while. Especially because people like to maximize their pumpkin intake during the month of November. That's a thing, right? I mean, I know I do.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Pasties
(Recipe from Bakingdom.com)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
3 to 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
For the egg wash:
Whisk one egg with two teaspoons of water until frothy
Thaw puff pastry before you start baking. To thaw, I usually wrap each roll of pastry (typically, two come in a pack) with a clean tea towel and let it sit for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator. I saw on a cooking show one time that the towel prevents the dough from getting soggy as it thaws. So far, it's worked great for me. If you've never used puff pastry before, it's surprisingly foolproof and usually results in something very impressive looking.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
Using a mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar mixture until light and fluffy, about one minute. Add egg and stir until combined. Make sure to scrape down the walls of the bowl every so often. Stir in pumpkin puree until throughly combined. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice. This is your filling.
Roll out the puff pastry until it's roughly 12x12. To avoid the dough sticking and/or ripping, make sure to flour both side of your dough. Liberally. Trust me on this.
Move your dough to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a pizza slicer to cut 16 even squares.
Spoon a generous helping of the filling into the center of each square.
Brush all four edges with the egg wash.
Fold two opposite corners up, so they just overlap on top.
Do this until all of your dough or mixture is used. Chill for 30 minutes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to FULLY COOL before glazing.
To make the glaze, whisk sugar and milk until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle glaze over pasties. To get an even "drizzle" effect, I used a piping bag. If you don't have piping bags, just load your icing into a Ziplock baggie and cut off one of the bottom corner tips. Finish with a dusting of confectioners' sugar.
I've only made these once, but they turned out surprisingly well. Not one slip-up or mistake. I took them to Eric's office as a nice midday snack. I hadn't even been back on the road for five minutes when I got the text that they were all gone. I also found out the next day that one of his coworkers took one for her daughter, a notoriously picky eater. Apparently, she ate it right up. My voodoo priestess magic is working afterall!
With that said, these ended up causing quite a scene in our kitchen by the time I was done baking. And by "quite a scene", I mean it could have easily been mistaken for one of Def Leppard's 1985 hotel rooms. It was a disaster. Baking sheets and cooling racks: everywhere. Mixing bowls: everywhere. Powdered sugar: everywhere. Glue-like icing: everywhere. I think you get the idea. Don't make these if you're going to be pressed for time with guests coming over. Unless you have a housekeeper. In which case, why aren't you hosting more events for me to come to?
Try these out and let me know what you think! Maybe serve pasties instead of the usual pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Even with all the effort and cleaning involved, the presentation and taste are totally worth it.