Thursday 11 April 2019

Discovering a minted Yorkshire Recipe

Intrigued by an invitation to visit Queens Mill in Castleford, I was delighted to be taken a tour of the mill and site. They say that the mill’s history can be traced back to Norman times but there’s a hint that the Romans may have been grinding flour nearby.  It’s a mammoth task ahead to restore the mill and its gigantic waterwheel but it’s very clear that the ambitious vision to provide first-class community facilities is well under way and is to be highly commended.
I was privileged to be offered a bag of special Castleford Stoneground Wholemeal Flour but with the proviso that I should try out some traditional recipes! It was a challenge which I was thrilled to accept. The volunteers at Queens Mill have already put together a book of their favourite tried and tested recipes, using the unique Stoneground Wholewheat flour so I was keen to get baking.
Being a Yorkshire lass, I’m always drawn to Yorkshire recipes and discovered ‘Yorkshire Mint Pasties’ in the Heritage section of their book.  This turns out to be one of those old Yorkshire recipes which has been adapted over time as it gets passed down the generations. It can be made as a large Pasty as well as small individual Pasties. The combination of fresh mint from the garden, dried fruit and spices work surprisingly well.
Yorkshire Mint Pasties
Wholewheat Shortcrust Pastry
400g/1lb Castleford Wholewheat flour
110g/4oz butter (cut into small pieces)
110g/4oz lard
Water to mix
Rub the butter into the flour to the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Mix with water to form a ball. Leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.
50g/2oz butter
150g/5oz currants
150g/5oz raisins
50g/2oz candid peel
50g/2oz brown sugar
2 tbsps chopped fresh garden mint
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon water
Milk or beaten egg and caster sugar to glaze
Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Line or butter a large baking tray. Prepare the filling by melting the butter gently in a pan over a low heat and mixing in all the other ingredients. Roll out the pastry thinly. Cut out small 10cm/4 inch circles (I made about 14 small Pasties) or two large 25cm/10 inch circles for a large round Pasty.
For the small Pasties, spread the filling evenly over half the circle, and moisten the edge of the pastry with milk or beaten egg to seal the edges together. Then fold over the other half of the circle over the filling to make a crescent shape. Crimp the edges of the crescent to make a pattern. Place the Pasties on the baking tray, then brush the tops with the rest of the milk or beaten egg and sprinkle the caster sugar over them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

For a large Pasty, place the filling in the centre of one of the pastry circles and put the other circle on top.  Seal the edges in the same way as the small pasties. Prick all over the top with a fork, brush with milk or beaten egg, sprinkle with caster sugar and bake for 25 to 30 minutes till golden brown.
Why not give these traditional Yorkshire Mint Pasties a try and enjoy them with a cup of Yorkshire tea! Watch out for the activities at Queens Mill including special open days to visit and see how the fantastic work of the volunteers progresses.
And a huge thank you to everyone who made my visit a very enjoyable one. I can’t wait to try out some more Wholemeal baking!