Thanks to my friend Annie who gave me a big bag full of beautiful apples from her garden, I was so inspired to make something delicious out of them. Besides simply juicing them and enjoy some fresh and organic apple juices, my mind was set on apple pie instantly, but a miniature version of it – apple hand pies aka apple empanadas. This was my first time making empanada dough, after doing much research, I decided on a much-referred-to sweet empanada dough recipe from Laylita’s Recipes. Most of the recipes for regular savory empanada dough calls for vinegar, as the sweet ones do not. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind that, but I would imagine either kind of dough will work with apples.
Sweet Empanada Dough from Laylita’s Recipes, makes 18 medium empanadas.
For the filling, I decided to cook down the apples first versus filling them raw like apple pies. I thought it would prevent any extra liquid from oozing out and making the empanada dough soggy, and it worked out perfectly.
Here is the recipe, with a couple of notes included.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¼- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 sticks butter or 16 tbs, cut into 16 pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2-4 tbs cold water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 medium size apples
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
- 2 tbsp corn starch, mix with 2-3 tbsp of water until smooth
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp of tubinado sugar (optional)
- 1 egg yolk
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
- Add the butter, eggs and water until a clumpy dough forms. (note: dough too dry or too wet will result to cracked empanadas.)
- Knead the dough for a few minutes.
- Form dough into 2 balls, flatten into thick discs, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- While waiting for the dough to chill, make the apple filling. Peel and core the apples. Cut into 1/2″ or 1/4″ cubes.
- Over medium heat in a medium size saucepan, add butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and apples. Cook until tender about 10 minutes, stir frequently.
- add the cornstarch + water mixture to the apples. Cook and stir until the apples start to thicken.
- Make sure the apple filling is chilled before filling the empanadas. (at least 1 hour in the fridge.)
- Roll out the dough into a thin sheet (1/4″-1/8″ thickness) and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas, use round molds or a small plate or cup as a mold, you can choose how large based on whether you want small or medium sized empanadas . (note: 5″ round molds make medium size empanadas, fits 1 tbsp of filling inside. )
- Put ~1 tbsp of apple filling in the center of the dough. Wet the dough circumference with water, fold the circle in half, pat down to push out excess air, pinch and flatten the edge tightly to seal. Using a fork to crimp the edge.
- Refrigerate the formed empanadas for at least 30 minutes. The empanadas can be chilled for several hours prior to baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush the empanadas with egg yolk (mix with a tsp of water).
- Optional: Sprinkle the empanadas with turbinado sugar. (maybe even mix the sugar with some cinnamon)
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy the empanadas warm, a la mode is the best.
- Refrigerate the baked empanadas, and they will keep for quite a few days. Reheat in a toaster oven and voila!
Here is a different way to seal up the empanadas. It does better prevent the syrup from the apple filling oozing out. Also, as you can see, these empanadas’ tops were cracked open during baking. These were from the first disc of dough that I rolled out. Not sure exactly what happened as the cracking did not happen with the second disc, (both discs were from the same batch.) I am guessing that either I did not roll out the dough properly, or I did not knead the dough enough and the air bubbles within the disc caused the cracking.
The empanadas from the second disc. Perfectly shaped!
So happy how these turned out! I need some practice on the dough-making and the rolling technique, do I hear savory empanadas?