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I bought a pre-made cornish pasty fromt the supermarket. The packaging says it can be eaten hot or cold, which presumably means it is already cooked. But the packaging also says it "is not suitable for microwave" and recommends 22 minutes in an oven at 200Cif it is to be heated. Why can't I heat it up in the microwave?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Because it is made from pastry dough. Pastry dough (and any other kind of dough) gets ruined by a microwave. See this question for details of what will probably happen.

The only exceptions for dough in the microwave is pasta (which is supposed to be boiled in water anyway) and some kinds of very soft batter, which can be eaten immediately as a "microwave cupcake" (I think they get unappetizing if left to stay for a while). Any other kind of dough is destroyed by the water escaping the starch as steam.

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I was too hungry to wait so I nuked it anyway. The pastry blistered badly and became a bit more chewy or tougher. The filling inside was fine. Overall the thing wasn't perfect, but reasonably edible. My oven takes 20 minutes to heat up so I will be tempted to nuke my pasties in the future. –  Ken May 9 '12 at 15:02
    
This is why some microwave pastries come with some kind of reflective foil type wrapping (hot pockets, lean cuisine sandwiches) that can be used to put some of the crisp back into the item (tho it will be chewy and tough). –  huzzah May 9 '12 at 15:24
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