The grand finale and the undeniable highlight of Cornish Pasty Week is the World Pasty Championships at the Eden Project.
Welcoming amateurs, professionals, companies and juniors from all over the globe, there are Open categories, where the only limit to the filling is your own imagination. But for entries to any of the Cornish pasty categories, your pasty needs to follow the official PGI recipe (click here for details).
Don’t leave it too late – entries close at midnight on Sunday 23 February.
To enter the World Pasty Championships 2020 or find out more about the competition, click here.
Here are our top 10 tips for creating a World Champion pasty:
- A whopping 40 marks out of the possible 100 is given for the taste. So use the best quality ingredients you can lay your hands on; make sure it’s properly seasoned; and aim for a really well balanced flavour where the stars of your show get to shine, but not overpower the other ingredients.
- The crimp is the next most important factor, worth 20% of the marks. The judges will be looking for plenty of evenly spaced distinctive crimps – 18 is a good number to aim for – and a neat tuck at the end. See our crimping guide and watch our pasty-making video to see how it’s done . Practice makes perfect!
- Have plenty of spare pastry standing by – then if your pastry splits or your crimp goes wrong, just unfold it and transfer your filling to a fresh disc rather than trying to patch up a bad job. First impressions are critical and are marked by the judges.
- Test your recipe(s) on as many people as possible – friends/family/colleagues are usually more than happy to oblige and their suggestions could be really useful.
- In the Cornish pasty classes, there’s plenty of scope for individuality, but remember to keep it to the official PGI specification . Don’t overthink it or add anything that shouldn’t be there – carrots and peas will mean instant disqualification!!
- In the open classes, there’s nothing wrong with whacky, but it still needs to taste good to win! Keep those flavours balanced, but if you have a featured ingredient, make sure it comes through in the overall mix.
- Score easy points by making sure any vegetables and meat are cut neatly into similar sized pieces and distributed evenly throughout the whole pasty. Sliced or diced? Layered or all mixed up together? It’s up to you.
- To prick or not to prick? That is the other question. And there’s no right answer. Some swear it lets the steam out and prevents everything going soggy; others say you need to keep the steam in to keep the filling moist. If you’re not sure, test both ways and go with what YOU think works best.
- Bake your pasty long enough for the ingredients to become succulent and tender, but not so long that everything dries out. Don’t forget – your cooked pasty will need to reheated for the judges to taste it hot, so take that into account when you bake yours off at home beforehand.
- No soggy bottoms. It might be beautifully golden on top but don’t forget to check that the pastry underneath is cooked too. And check that glaze – it should cover the whole of the pasty evenly, with little or no cracking.
Good luck everyone!