Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dine With Our Detectives - Pasties and Taffy Pulling

Pasties (pronounced pass-tees) can be found in specialty shops scattered across the Michigan Upper Peninsula. The Finns and Swedes love their rutabaga, but it can be left out if the flavor is too strong for you. Gertie and her family eat pasties with ketchup. Tourists want gravy.

For pastry:
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 c. butter, cut in pieces
3/4 c. ice water
1 egg

For filling:
1 lb. ground round
1 lb. ground pork
1 1/2 c. onions, chopped
1 c. rutabaga, diced
1 c. potatoes, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T. oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift 3 c. flour and salt. Cut in butter until coarse like breadcrumbs. Slowly add ice water until the dough forms into a ball, wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 20 minutes. In large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Grease baking sheet. Dust workstation with remaining flour, divide dough into 6 pieces and roll each into a circle the size of a plate. On half of each pasty, spread 1 c. of filling. Fold over and crimp edges. Place on baking sheet, cut a few slits in each top, brush with egg white, and bake 1 hour.


Yoopers always have great fun pulling taffy and it even tastes better than the taffy on Mackinac Island. You know it's ready to pull when you drop a small dab into cold water, roll it around, and it forms a soft ball.

1 bottle white corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Boil the corn syrup and sugar until it forms a soft ball when a small amount is dropped into cold water. Add vanilla. Pour into a buttered pan and cool it just enough to handle. Butter your hands. Pull until it’s white and stiff. The taffy can be divided into pieces so everyone can pull. When done, pull into long ropes, let it harden on waxed paper, and cut it into pieces with scissors.
Note: Make butterscotch taffy by using dark corn syrup instead of white.