Dan Lepard’s Short & Tweet Challenge: Spinach Pasties

Spinach and Ricotta Pasties from “Short and Sweet”

Until today I’d never made pastry of this type, and I looked forward to seeing just how spectacularly I could mess it up.


In my experience with Short and Tweet challenges, two attempts are required at a recipe before I can turn my back on it with a nod of satisfaction. Either this recipe is dead easy, or my skills are improving because I didn’t need a second go to get it right. The pastry proofed as it should, perhaps longer than required. My husband decided to come home from work early so that lovely rosy-tint mound was left to get on with it alone for an extra 20-minutes while I popped down to the rail station.


I used my old massive stock pot to ‘blanch’ the spinach. This was probably the most testing element of the recipe as I tried to turn the leaves in the pot so that all of them wilted. I would sure like to know how others managed this blanching process. I was rather fumble-fingered at it – spinach leaves popping out all over the place. Molly discovered that she likes spinach, and she doesn’t care that it’s been on floor.


I wasn’t sure about the slashing. I understood the diagonal bit but didn’t know if they should be long or short cuts. As it turned out, the deep cuts were sort of long. Not sure if that’s right or not. I wish Dan’s book had a photo of a slashed and baked pasty, a visual guide for the uninitiated like me.


And lastly, the spinach and ricotta filling is so delicious that I intend to use it again, maybe to fill an omelette or a hollowed-out roll.


Dan Lepard’s “Short and Sweet” book is available at Amazon UK

[edited and updated 28 Feb 2012]


22 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanna says:

    they look great! i have never made pasties and will have to catch up with this one when I am back home. X Jo

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Minimum effort and maximum flavour. :). xx

  2. I like your pasties and your neat finish. This is the illustration for Dan Lepard’s pasties in Guardian – so yours look spot on (when you take cooling into account).

    The pastry is so straightforward, isn’t it? A snap to prepare and easy to roll out. I have speckles like your pastry and a little like Under the Blue Gum – I wonder if that’s from the Parmesan.

    We didn’t have any fresh spinach near us so I had to cook down frozen spinach which meant cooking off a mass of water – I think fresh would be much better.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thank you so much for the link back to Dan’s original recipe with the photo. Glad to see that mine look similar.

      I think the speckles are from the Parmesan. I think of any element of the tomato puree that would do that.

      There’s still an amazing amount of water in fresh spinach!

  3. ceciliag says:

    i love pasties, is the dough recipe on that link.. i shall go and look.. that is the recipe i cannot find!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      The dough recipe is on the link that Evidence Matters posted. It leads to the Guardian newspaper food section where Dan’s a contributor.

      Maybe you could join in with us?! 🙂

  4. Misk, they look really impressive! Thanks for testing the recipe out – will mark that in my book as one that works! 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      They’re surprisingly filling in the old tum, too! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 🙂

  5. heidi says:

    They really look delicious! And pasties are so good with ricotta and spinach. I’m going to check out the link, as well.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      This is also the first time that I’ve tackled ricotta in pastry. Really good recipe!

  6. These look stunning. But I know exactly what you mean about trying to get spinach to wilt. your description sums up my efforts 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’m looking forward to seeing how others managed with blanching or wilting the spinach. I was all thumbs doing it! :))

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Microwaving the raw spinach is a brilliant idea. Thanks!

  7. I’ve borrowed a photograph for the #shortandtweet 13 compilation: I’ve left tips/links about wilting/wringing spinach on Jerronimissus’ post.

  8. Spinach and ricotta are definitely natural-born playmates!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      That filling could be used to stuff so many things!

  9. Gloria says:

    I love a pasty and yours look totally delicious. I shall look up the recipe in Dan’s book.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I don’t think you’ll be disappointed – it’s excellent.

  10. K says:

    These look fantastic! And lots of filling, which I like 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      They’re worth the price of the book, that’s for sure. ;D

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