Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirls

Whitby – spiritual home of Dracula, setting of the much overlooked Whitby Witches book series by Robin Jarvis, a nice weekend away for goths (as well as Yorkshire Grub writers) and, it turns out, birthplace of these Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirls (discovered in Mrs Appleby’s Traditional Yorkshire Recipes, 1982).

Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirls

These Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirls are a great chintzy little snack and an excellent way to use up leftover mash, which brings a pleasing weight to the dish. You can totally imagine your grandma serving these to guests while they sipped Pink Ladies and she hoped there wouldn’t be a¬†brownout.

I’d also like to add that Whitby is a great creaky old place, with history pouring out of the walls when you get down to the old town. Around the harbour it’s a warren of narrow ginnels wrinkly houses. Sure, it’s a little riddled with tourists, but it’s worth putting up with them. It’s one of those places that feels baked right into the landscape. You can see why Bram Stoker decided that it was a good place for Dracula to wash up on the shore.

Whitby

But, anyway, we were chatting about retro pastry snacks. The Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirl has opened my eyes a little to the different ways you can use pastry. The potato goes right into the dough, and I’ve added some chili flakes to bring a little heat. My brain is whirring as all the other ingredients you could bake into pastry cycle through it. You might add some onion along with the cheese for a little bite, or whatever other savoury bits and pieces you have lying around. (If you do riff on them, please do let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!)

Like almost everything on Yorkshire Grub, these go well with Blackberry Ketchup. Or, you might try them with this traditional Yorkshire Tomato Chutney. I would totally put baked beans on top of these if I was in a can’t-be-arsed-to-cook sort of a mood and fancied a mucky tea, too…

Print Recipe
Whitby Potato and Cheese Whirls
Next time you're having someone round for afternoon tea, bust these out and take them back to 1974.
Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Whitby Cheese and Potato Whirls
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Sieve together the flour, salt and cayenne pepper, then add the chili flakes.
  3. Grate the butter into your dry ingredients, then knead it all together along with the mashed potato. You want to form a moist but relatively stiff dough. Add a splash of milk to bring it together, if necessary.
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle, roughly 24cm x 40cm. You want relatively even edges, so fold and roll them in if necessary.
  5. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, then scatter over the grated cheese.
  6. Roll your pastry so that it's reasonably tight. It should be roughly the diameter of a sausage roll.
  7. Cut your roll into 1cm slices, then place on a greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 15 - 20 minutes.
  9. Eat.
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