Harry Potter's famous pumpkin pasties sold in the Hogwarts Express - flaky crust and a delicious spicy-sweet pumpkin filling.
Pumpkin Pasties Recipe (Harry Potter Inspired)
One of the most famous recipes from the Harry Potter world: pumpkin pasties with a sweet filling, which the young wizards can buy in the train on their way to Hogwarts.
I am a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge Harry Potter fan. I have been reading the books since I was about 18 or 19, every year, all the books, in the order of their appearance. Normally I do that about this time of the year, this year I was a bit early though... I just felt the need to do it sometimes in the summer.
But as I am currently reading the books to my kids as well, I still get to sink into Harry's world almost every day for a while. We just finished The Goblet Of Fire last night and we will start reading The Order Of The Phoenix tonight. The first time I read the books in German as well, so it really never gets boring. 🙂 (Amazon affiliate links)
And Harry Potter movies? I cannot even begin to count how many times I've seen them... I remember the first one that came out, I think I went to the cinema at least 5 times... (Amazon affiliate link)
This pumpkin pasties recipe is the first in a small Harry Potter recipes series. There are so many of them mentioned throughout the books that I found it really difficult to choose. Everybody has heard of the famous butterbeer and the pumpkin juice, of the all-flavored beans and the chocolate frogs, but I wanted to go for some recipes that are more easily made at home.
What are pumpkin pasties?
I am starting with the pumpkin pastry that the Harry Potter books made famous: the pumpkin pasties. They are the first typical wizard food that Harry gets to eat when on his way to Hogwarts in the Hogwarts Express.
The pumpkin pasties are small pastry pockets filled with a delicious sweet and spicy pumpkin filling, similar to the Cornish pasties, which you can buy just about anywhere in England, but which are normally savory.
While reading about the pasties on the Internet I found many articles debating about the taste of the pumpkin pasties. Many think they are actually savory like a typical Cornish pasty. Some others think they are sweet.
I decided to go for the sweet version because that is the way I imagined the pasties to be from the very beginning. The Hogwarts Express trolley only sells sweets, so I have always taken it for granted that the pumpkin pasties are sweet as well.
Tips for making good pastry
- Always use a kitchen scale, especially when making pastry or any kind of dough or batter. Cup measuring is just too unprecise for baking. (Amazon affiliate link)
- Making shortcrust pastry is really easy, especially if you are using a stand mixer or another kitchen machine. I use the Thermomix to make the pastry.
- Make sure the butter is very cold. To achieve that cut the butter into small cubes, place them in one layer on a plate and put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, they should not be frozen but get really cold.
- Process the dry ingredients with the butter only very shortly, the butter should not be completely blended into the mixture, you should still be able to see tiny pieces of butter in the mixture.
- Don't add all the cold water from the beginning, add 2 tablespoons, incorporate them and see if you need the extra tablespoon. It really depends on how exactly you weigh the flour and on the brand of the flour itself. The dough should hold together when you press a little bit of it between your fingers.
- Refrigerate the pastry for several hours before using it.
- If you make the pastry by hand, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a knife. Once the butter is incorporated, knead the pastry very very shortly to bring it into form.
- Make sure that your hands are cold when you are working the pastry. Wash them with very cold water and dry them well.
- Only use the fingertips and not the palms of your hands, they will still be too warm for the pastry.
Can I freeze shortcrust pastry?
- You can make the pastry well in advance and keep it in the fridge, well wrapped in plastic foil/cling film. It keeps for at least 3-4 days in the fridge.
- You can also freeze the pastry, it will keep for months.
- I do that often with shortcrust pastry. I make a large batch and freeze the leftovers for later use.
Can I use ready-bought pastry?
- Yes, of course!
- If you don't want to make the pastry (although it is really so quick and easy and tastes so good), you can always buy a ready-made shortcrust pastry, it is your decision.
- I made a large batch of pastry but used only about the half for the pumpkin pastry, I weighed it, there were about 200 g/ 7 oz necessary for about 15 small pasties.
How to cut and fill the pasties?
- Roll the pastry on the lightly floured working surface or, if using bought pastry, unroll it on its paper.
- Cut the circles and remove the dough in between the circles.
- Place some filling on one side of the circles.
- Dab the pastry edges with a wet finger and fold the other side over. You will now have the half-moons. Crimp with a fork and cut the vents to resemble the scar.
- Roll the scraps again to make more pasties.
Can puff pastry be used as a pie crust?
- Yes, it can.
- Shortcrust pastry is typical for making pasties of any kind, but puff pastry sheets can be used instead. I mean, puff pastry tastes so good as well, who would not like it?
- When using puff pastry, cut the dough circles as the pumpkin pastry recipe requires, fill, crimp, baste with egg wash, place on baking sheets, and bake until golden brown.
- Make sure you read the puff pastry's packet instructions regarding the baking time.
- You will need some pumpkin puree to make the filling.
- Here you can learn how to roast a pumpkin. I only needed a very small portion of pumpkin puree to make the pumpkin pasties.
- You can use the rest to make roasted pumpkin soup, no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, smoothies, curries and so on.
- You could use pumpkin puree from a can as well. NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Leave out the sugar and top the filling with a little grated cheese.
- Proceed with the recipe.
What is pumpkin spice made of?
- You will need some spices for the pumpkin filling.
- As pumpkin spice is not available in Germany, I always mix my own spices to make pumpkin spice.
- I use a combination of cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and nutmeg. You can also add a pinch of ground ginger.
- You can increase the amounts of these spices and make some pumpkin spice to last you for a whole pumpkin season.
- Keep it in a well-sealed jar in a dark cool place, it will be fine for at least 2-3 months.
Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties Recipe
- Pastry: (Note 1, 2)
- 175 g all-purpose flour 6.2 oz/ 1 ½ cups
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar leave out when you want to make a savory pie or pastry
- a pinch of salt
- 140 g unsalted butter 5 oz/ ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (Note 3)
- 2-3 tablespoons very cold water
- Alternative: 1 ready-made pie crust
- 100 g pumpkin puree 3.5 oz/ scant ½ cup, homemade or from a can (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- a pinch of allspice
- a pinch of cardamom
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Egg wash:
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Cool butter: Cut the butter into small cubes, place them in one layer on a plate, and put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes; they should not be frozen but get really cold.
- Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor/stand mixer.
- Add butter cubes and process shortly, about 10 pulses, but it depends on the machine you are using. The dough should resemble breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of icy water, and pulse a few times again until the dough comes together. Add the third tablespoon of water if necessary; sometimes I do add it, sometimes not; it depends on how exactly you weigh the flour and sometimes on the brand of the flour itself. The dough should hold together when you press a little bit of it between your fingers.
- Refrigerate: Form a ball, divide it into two portions, press each piece into a disc and wrap the discs tightly in plastic foil. You will only need one portion to make about 15 pasties. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Alternatively, you can use a ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry.
- If you want to make your pumpkin puree, halve and deseed a small pumpkin. Place the halves on a baking tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35-45 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Let cool a little, remove the skin, and puree the pumpkin flesh in the food processor.To make the filling, you will only need about 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup of it.
- Mix 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup pumpkin puree with the spices and set aside.
Make the pumpkin pasties:
- When ready to roll the dough, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll dough: Sprinkle the working surface with a bit of flour and roll one of the refrigerated dough discs, about 3 mm / 0.12 inches thick.
- Cut dough circles using a pastry cutter or the edge of a glass. My circles had a diameter of 8 cm/ 3.1 inches, and the resulting pasties were small. After rolling the remaining scraps a couple of times as well, I had 15 pasties.
- Fill pasties: Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the filling on one side of the pastry circles, dab the pastry edges with a wet finger and fold the other side over. You will now have the half-moons.
- Crimp: Press the edges with a fork to crimp and close them.
- Cut vents: Using a small sharp knife, cut some tiny slits on top to create vents. I cut the vents in the form of Harry's scar, but you don't have to do that; an ordinary X will suffice.
- Place the pasties on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Egg wash: Mix the egg yolk with the milk. Brush the pasties.
- Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until nicely golden.
- Let cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it ensures the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- You will not use it all, but the pastry freezes very well, making a smaller amount is possible, but not really worth it.
- European style butter is best; it has less water.