Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Pumpkin Pasties

 

There are some books that get more and more intriguing each time you read them. I find that the Harry Potter books fall into this category and I notice something new with each reading. We recently read the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with our kids, and seeing the story through children’s eyes adds a whole other level of delight and wonder. I think one of the most entrancing things about the Harry Potter series is the intricate detail that J.K. Rowling wove into the magical world she created. From her description of the game of Quidditch, to the vocabulary of slang words used by magical people, Rowling obviously put deep thought into the details of her story. Of course, being a food writer, most of my favorite scenes in these books involve food, and there are plenty of those! One of the earliest mentions of food in the magical world that Harry enters is the treat trolley on the train to Hogwarts. While recipes for butterbeer and chocolate frogs abound, it is more difficult to find a good recipe for the pumpkin pasty that Harry buys on the train.

 

Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter - finestofsuppers.com

I realize that pasties are usually savory meat pies, but since Harry bought this pasty from a treat trolley, along with many other sweet treats, I decided to make a sweet version. This recipe is somewhere between a pop-tart and pumpkin pie. The filling is thicker than a pumpkin pie custard as it is thickened with an egg yolk and cream cheese, giving them a slightly tangy flavor. The pastry is a recipe I developed a few years ago for homemade pop-tarts and is heartier than a typical pie crust due to the addition of an egg and cream. I sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar for an extra sweet/spicy kick. But even with the sugar sprinkle on top, these pastries are less sweet than a typical pumpkin pie and hearty enough for breakfast on a crisp fall day. If Harry fortified himself with Pumpkin Pasties on his way to school at Hogwarts, then I think they qualify as a good breakfast for us Muggles too, right?

 

Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter - finesofsuppers.com

 

Making Pumpkin Pasties - finestofsuppers.com

 

Making Pumpkin Pasties - finestofsuppers.com

 

Pumpkin Pasties

Yield: About 18 pasties

Time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients for crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup cold shortening

1 large egg, well-beaten

3 Tablespoons ice cold milk

 

For Topping:

1 egg yolk, for brushing

1Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Ingredients for filling:

1/2 cup softened cream cheese

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground gingere

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. For the crust:  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt until well-blended. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently mix in the egg, tossing with a fork. Gradually mix in the cold milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, with a fork just until the pastry is moistened enough to form a ball. Form the pastry into 2 equal sized balls, wrap them each with plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill the 2 discs of pastry in the fridge for 1 hour to make the pastry easier to work with.

2. For the filling:  While the pastry dough chills, in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and sugars until well-combined. Add the pumpkin puree and spices and beat to blend. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until just mixed. Put filling in a bowl and chill along with the dough until pastry is stiff enough to roll out. Preheat oven to 375ºF and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. After the pastry dough is stiff enough to handle easily, roll out one of the discs on a lightly floured board, using a lightly floured rolling pin, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out rounds about 4-6 inches in diameter using a glass or large, round biscuit cutter. Scoop 1 Tablespoon of the pumpkin filling into the middle of each round and wet the edge of the pastry with water, then fold the top half of the pastry rounds over the bottom half, pressing along the edge to seal them closed. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the pasty dough to allow steam to escape while cooking. Place the pasties on one of the parchment lined baking sheets and repeat step 3 with the remaining disc of dough.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar for the pasty topping. Whisk the egg yolk together with 1 tablespoon of water to create an egg wash and brush each pasty with a little of the egg wash. Sprinkle a bit of the cinnamon-sugar on top of each pasty. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, switching the positions of the pans and rotating them halfway through. Remove the pasties from the oven when they look flaky and golden brown on the top. Cool on wire racks for half an hour before eating.

 

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