Wisconsin Author Carol Voss & My Mom’s Cornish Pasty Recipe

Carol Voss

My guest today is Wisconsin author Carol Voss. I’ve met her at conferences and she is FUN! Carol is offering either an ebook or a print copy of her newest book A Baby for Sarah (that US Only) for a book drawing. Don’t miss the QUESTION.

Since I’m acquainted with the pasty (said with the British ah sound), I was eager to read & share Carol’s mom’s recipe for Cornish pasties. The Cornish miners from Cornwall, a region of the British Kingdom were the inventor of the pasty. Here’s some backstory on this delectable treat.

“The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In some areas, pasties are a significant tourist attraction,[47] including an annual Pasty Fest in Calumet, Michigan in late June. Pasties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have a particularly unusual history. Many ethnic groups adopted the pasty for use in the Copper Country copper mines.[48][49] The pasty has become strongly associated with all cultures in this area, and in the similar Iron Range in northern Minnesota.
Mineral Point, Wisconsin was the site of the first mineral rush in the USA during the 1830s. After lead was discovered in Mineral Point many of the early miners migrated to this south-western Wisconsin area from Cornwall. Those Cornish miners brought their skills working in the deep underground tin mines of Cornwall. They also brought their recipe and appetite for the pasty.” From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty “

Now here’s Carol:

“My favorite meal growing up was my mom’s Cornish pasties. She knew the perfect blend of meat, potatoes, onion and a touch of rutabaga to tuck inside pockets of the paper-thin crust only she could perfect. Along with this perfect meal in a bundle, my family sat around the kitchen table and listened to Mom’s stories of her dad and two older brothers. They used to wrap their pasties in newspapers and carry them inside their shirts to keep warm on their walk to work in the lead mines near Mifflin in southwestern Wisconsin.

Artists in the kitchen

My mom and her mother were artists in the kitchen. There aren’t many written, precise recipes in their repertoire, I’m afraid. For them, cooking was more a matter of intuition, experience, and just the right feel. My daughter and Mom worked out exact measures for the crust, but I’ll list ingredients for the filling, then just like a good story, you can mix and add and subtract until you find your own perfect blend.

Cornish Pasty Recipe

Crust: Sift 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon salt together; cut 3/4 cup vegetable shortening OR 1/2 cup lard into flour mixture with a fork or wire pastry blender until size of split peas. Add 6 Tablespoons ice water. Refrigerate until ready to roll out.

Filling: Mix together several thinly sliced potatoes, some crumbled, lean ground beef or venison, some onion, rutabaga, salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out thin sheets of the crust. On each sheet, spoon enough of the potato-meat mixture to allow you to fold the crust around it and crimp it closed along the top. Bake at 350 F. until perfect. Enjoy!

A Baby for Sarah

To buy A Baby for Sarah: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=carol+voss&x=19&y=23

A place where families bond

Food and the familiar rituals that surround it are often a place where families bond, especially mothers and daughters. As is the birth of a child. In A Baby for Sarah, Sarah Taylor enjoys her mother’s cooking, the close relationship she shares with her, and is excited about the prospect of someday giving her mother the grandchild she desires.

The problem is that her Prince Charming is taking so long to find her. She wants a family, preferably before she reaches the age where people mistake her for her own children’s grandmother. But she believes that God stopped listening to her prayers back when He took her loving sister without even giving her time to say goodbye to her family.

Sarah is tortured by her conflicted feelings while growing up with her older sister who was born with Down syndrome and believes herself to be selfish and unworthy of God’s love. Her worst enemies, those that separate her from God and keep her from claiming His strength, are the ones inside.

Can Sarah’s friend, Will Kennedy, help her find her way back to God before he leaves town to follow his dreams?”–Carol

For more online:



Twitter: @ CarolVoss2

Carol, I am definitely going to try out your mom’s recipe. I tend to prefer lard over animal shortening for pastry. I think it’s easier to work with. Now for the book drawing–

QUESTION: Is there a regional dish or a heritage dish passed down through your family? Do you still make it or just remember it? ;-)–Lyn 

PS-I think the baby on the cover is so precious!


About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
This entry was posted in Book Giveaway, New Book Release, Recipe and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Wisconsin Author Carol Voss & My Mom’s Cornish Pasty Recipe

  1. I had no idea what a pasty was. It sounds a bit like an empanada, but with a much thinner crust. I’m horrible with crusts, but the recipe sounds great.

    My mother and grandmother made some wonderful dishes, but no matter how hard I try, most don’t turn out right.

    Love the dog and your cover is fabulous. Sounds like a great story. Your first book is on my keeper shelf.

    • Carol Voss says:

      Hi Virginia,

      Crust is tricky. I was told it takes practice, but having practiced, I’m convinced I never inherited the crust gene.

      Our puppy is a lot of fun and makes long walks a necessity rather than a choice which is good.

      I love that you have my first book on your keeper shelf. You made my day.

  2. Carol, this recipe sounds like it would be quick to make. Plus, I am guessing it could be put together ahead of time, then frozen for a fast on-the-go meal. Yummm!

    I love your book cover and your book sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Carol Voss says:

      Hi Sheila,
      Pasties freeze really well. Talking about them makes me hungry for
      one. 🙂

      I’m glad you like the book cover. I spent a long time looking for the perfect picture, and knew it the moment I saw it. Rogenna Brewer put the cover together for me. Talented lady.

  3. Carol, that recipe sounds delish! I’m copying this down. And your puppy is the cutest ever!

    • Carol Voss says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for stopping by, Susan. I hope your pasties turn out great.

      Our little Captain is as sweet as he is cute. Do I sound like a proud mommy?

  4. Hi, Lyn! Hi, Mom!

    Wow, these are some fun memories.

    I’m Carol’s daughter, and I have to second her comments. You wouldn’t believe how many problems I had trying to make my grandmother’s crust for pasties or pies. My gramma could do it all by feel, and when she was helping me, I was pretty good at it. But as soon as I tried to make the crust by myself, it wouldn’t turn out.

    Now with the written recipe, my crust still isn’t as consistent as hers was. But it’s sort of close! My pasties aren’t quite as good as hers were, either. But they are better than any others I’ve tasted… except my mom’s, of course. 🙂

    And I’m not sure which is more adorable, the baby on A Baby for Sarah or that puppy! I think I’ll choose both. 🙂

    • Carol Voss says:

      Hi Ann,
      You’re too modest. Your crusts are great. They’re not Gramma’s; they’re yours, and our whole family looks forward to your pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving. Yum.

      Ann is also a reader and an author, two more bonds we share.
      Thanks for stopping by, Ann.

  5. Your recipe for pasty really takes me home. I grew up in southwestern Wisconsin near the mining area of Mineral Point. Pasty was prepared by my mom and both grandmothers. It was even served at school. Everyone was excited to eat that day. I don’t make it, just enjoy eating it. My sister is the pasty maker in the family now.

    • Carol Voss says:

      Hi MaryGrace,

      What a pretty name. My favorite aunt was Greta Murphy who lived in Ridgeway. I’m curious whether you knew her or her family?

      We were never lucky enough to be served pasties at school. I think it’s interesting that your sister is designated the pasty maker in the family now.

  6. Carol Voss says:

    I agree that lard is easier to work with, Lyn. I hope your pasty turns out great.

  7. Sonja says:

    Going to try out the recipe, too!

    • Carol Voss says:

      Good luck, Sonja. Have fun in the kitchen.

    • Sonja says:

      Yes, there is a regional dish passed to me by my family. It is German Rouladen. I love it, that and the German red cabbage that goes right along with it. Forgot to answer the question this morning!

      • Carol Voss says:

        Hi Sonja,

        My husband is German, and we go to a German supper club that does an amazing smorgasbord once a month. Rouladen is my favorite along with the red cabbage that goes with it. Yum.

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