“Hungry, are you?”-Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
“Starving,” said Harry, taking a large bite out of a pumpkin pastry.
Pumpkin pasties were one of the first treats in the wizarding world that Harry samples on the Hogwarts Express, which perhaps is why pumpkin pasties are one of the ‘must-haves’ on a Harry Potter party menu.
A pastie (also written pasty) is an English term, pronounced “pah-stee”, and has a long history dating back to the 13th century. Its name indicates the shape the pastry is cooked in, described as circular pastry, folded into a quarter moon with blunted horns and crimped edges.
The best known pasty is the Cornish pasty, which initially contained meat, turnips and onion. However, pasties, in general, have had a variety of fillings over the centuries, from savoury to sweet.
In the 19th century, it became the standard lunch of tin miners and wasn’t uncommon to put savoury on one end, and a sweet filling, like apple, at the other, allowing both the main meal and dessert to be held in one pasty.
Today the generic pasty can have any filling and is also found as smaller sized pasties for a daintier eating experience.
Making pumpkin pasties in advance
- Prep the dough recipe, but instead of placing in the fridge, place in a freezer bag or container, and place in the freezer. If making pumpkin puree from scratch, you can prep this in advance and freeze as well. This can be a week or two beforehand.
- Remove from the freezer two days before your party to defrost.
- The day before your party, bake up your pumpkin pasties.
When I originally made these, I cut the pastry into pumpkin shapes as sweet little desserts. Technically, this no longer is a pasty, since it’s not in the D/ quarter moon shape, however, at the end of the day, this is your party, so it’s up to you how you serve these up! The cuteness of the pumpkin shapes makes them a wonderful party treat.