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Caramelised onion, fennel and potato Cornish pies

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for caramelised onion, fennel and potato Cornish pies.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus cooling, proving
  • Serves 8
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Caramelised onion, fennel and potato Cornish pies
A pasty is really just a free-form pie and if you aren't a pie-lover, you'll still love a first-class pasty.


  • 165 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 700 gm Sebago potato (about 2), cut into 1½ cm dice
  • 180 gm (1½ cups) frozen peas
  • 3 baby fennel, fronds reserved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for eggwash
  • 1 lemon, juice only
Pasty dough
  • 5 gm dried yeast
  • 700 gm “00” flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Heat 125ml oil in a large wide saucepan over high heat. Add onion, stir occasionally until soft (10 minutes). Add sugar, butter and fennel seeds and stir occasionally until caramelised (25-30 minutes), add garlic and thyme in last 5 minutes of cooking, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for pasty dough, combine yeast and 400ml warm water in a bowl, stir to dissolve, stand until foamy (5-10 minutes). Place flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add oil, a large pinch of sea salt and yeast mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, stand until doubled in size (40 minutes-1 hour).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220C. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add potato, cook until tender (8 minutes). Drain, add to onion mixture with peas and reserved fennel fronds, season to taste, set aside to cool.
  • 4
    Divide dough into 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a 20cm-diameter circle. Place one-eighth of onion mixture in the centre, brush edges with eggwash and fold pastry over filling to enclose. Twist edges to seal and place on a baking-paper-lined oven tray. Repeat with remaining dough and onion mixture, brush with eggwash, dust with flour and bake, in batches, until golden and heated through (15-20 minutes).
  • 5
    Meanwhile, thinly slice fennel on a mandolin and place in a bowl of iced water until crisp (5 minutes), then drain well and combine in a bowl with lemon juice and remaining olive oil, season to taste and serve immediately with Cornish pies.
  • undefined: Lisa Featherby