I found some great recipes in a surprising place, Harry Potter books. I admit that I tend to stay away from themed cookbooks. I’m not talking about cookbooks that deal with only one kind of food or a general theme, I’m talking the “unofficial cookbooks” like unofficial Twilight cookbooks, the unofficial hunger games cookbooks, etc.. It’s not so much that I don’t believe they are good recipes, as it is that there are so many of them and they tend to be a little far-reaching in trying to connect recipes back to the book or movie. Today is different, today is a review of the one unofficial cookbook I own accidentally and love.
Today is the day I review the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.
This cookbook was given to me for my birthday about two years ago. It wasn’t until the last movie that a friend of mine and I decided we’d give these recipes a try. We were delightfully surprised! The recipes are easy to follow and produce simple and tasty treats that I now use again and again.
Don’t let the cover scare you away, this is actually one of the best UK cookbooks I’ve been able to find in the states with traditional recipes. Though it may take a very Harry Potter approach to its recipes, giving a quick quote (with page numbers) from the book where each recipe has been mentioned, Dinah Bucholz has done her homework. I’m from Michigan, where Cornish pasties have lived and thrived in the U.S. and I have to tell you when I make pasties I use her recipe. And that’s what this review is based on today.
The crust is light and flakey but thick and soft enough to hold together when picked up. The filling is simple: meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, salt and pepper but when baked together it’s absolutely delicious! I’d like to try it with parsnips and half of an onion instead of a whole.
This isn’t an official cookbook review either so I can’t give you the exact recipe but I can tell you that you can see these recipes for free in the Amazon “look inside this book” preview:
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lemon Pops
- Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cones
- Fried Eggs and Bacon
- Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake
- Fruitcake (the good kind)
- Roast Pork Loin (apple blossom glazed and bourbon glazed with peaches)
- English Strawberry Trifle
- Mulligatawny Soup
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Custard Sponge Sandwich Cake
- Citrus Sandwich cake with Mango Filling
All you have to do is click the picture of the book and you’ll see the pages! I can tell you that I’ve tried the Pasties, the Treacle tart and the fluffy mashed potatoes and they are all fabulous.
I will give you all the altered recipe I intend to try!
Cornish Pasties with Rosemary Dough and Parsnips
Adapted from Dinah Bucholz’s Cornish pasty recipe
Time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
- 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2.5 sticks of unsalted cold butter, cubed
- 0.5 a cup of ice water
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 parsnip peeled, diced
- half an onion, diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 lb stew meat, diced to the size of vegetables
- Salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- For dough: pulse flour, rosemary, and salt in a food processor until thoroughly mixed. Then scatter butter over top and process until the mixture is course like wet sand without any flour showing. I found it took a little less than a minute.
- Move mixture into a mixing bowl and add the half cup of ice water until the dough looks sticky (see picture above). If dough is too dry add water a tablespoon at a time until your dough sticks. Split the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit 2-4 hours, I like to leave it overnight, but hey sometimes you’re hungry right?
- Pull out the dough to let it soften a little before rolling it out. In the meantime combine the diced filling ingredients in a bowl. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- To roll out the dough I like to tape down a sheet of parchment paper (easier clean up) sprinkle it and the rolling-pin with flour and roll out the slightly softened dough to about a quarter of an inch (I like a thicker crust, Bucholz rolls out to an eighth of an inch). Use a plate or bowl, whatever you have handy, to cut out a six-inch circle in the dough. Add filling to one side of the circle (about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup), leaving a small border unfilled and fold dough over until it touches the other side. Add slits to the top to release steam and crimp the edges with a fork!
- Bake on a cookie sheet for ten minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and cook for an hour until beautifully golden. Allow to cool then dig in!