If you're a Harry Potter fan, you probably already know that food plays a significant role in Harry's journey. Because food is a universal language, it's one of the key story elements that helps connect readers everywhere to Harry and his world. "The series is about magic, so food is what muggles (aka readers) can connect to on a personal level! Food is comforting, food is important in different cultures, and food shows love, protection, and caring," says Tiffany O'Malley, self-proclaimed Harry Potter expert and co-host of Swish and Flick, an all-Potter podcast. And even if some of the foods in the series are far from appetizing (Think: Blood Pops!), some are based on familiar foods that, for many, are instantly recognizable. A definite HP fan favorite is pumpkin pasties — a semi-sweet pumpkin-stuffed play on the traditional Cornish pasty. Want to give them a go? You came to the right place.
Pumpkin pasties first appear in The Sorcerer's Stone. After boarding the Hogwarts Express, Harry encounters the trolly witch and quickly buys all of her treats. "Prior to entering the Wizarding World, Harry experiences food insecurity," explains O'Malley, "so when Harry finally has the financial ability to provide for himself, he takes advantage of this as soon as he can. A form of self-love. Food also becomes a bridge into friendship with his first friend ever. He in turn immediately takes care of and shows friendship to Ron by sharing with him. A form of friendship love."
Food remains a constant theme throughout the Harry Potter series, appearing in spells, in daily life at Hogwarts and during celebratory feasts, and even as an antidote to the presence of Dementors — not very different from the role it plays in real life. But no special occasion is needed to enjoy these Harry Potter pumpkin pasties. With just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of prep time, you will find yourself biting into the Wizarding World.
Homemade Pumpkin Pasties Recipe
Makes 5 pasties
Active: 30 mins
Total: 2 hours 30 mins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons chilled lard or vegetable shortening
- 3– 4 tablespoons ice-cold water
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon water
1. Add flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor and pulse 3-4 times. Distribute chilled butter and lard (or vegetable shortening) on top of the mixture and pulse until it has the texture of coarse, wet sand, and the flour is fully incorporated, or about 15-20 pulses.
2. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl and add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spatula until the mixture just clumps together but is not overly wet. There may be unused water. Roll the dough into a ball, fold in plastic wrap, pat down into a disk and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.
3. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
4. Preheat oven to 400° F.
5. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and roll it out to 1/8–inch thickness. Use a small bowl or knife to cut out 6-inch circles.
6. Add 3–4 tablespoons to one side of the circle, leaving a 1/2 space around the edges. Moisten the edges with water and fold over, crimping the edges with a fork until completely sealed. Cut slits on the top and carefully transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash before baking for 30– 35 minutes.
7. Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring pasties to a serving platter.