Empanada Recipe

Let me just start by saying, The Girl from Impanema has nothing to do with Empanadas, but the word reminded me of the song and I just had to listen to it.  Thought you might want to also, as you read.

That said, today I received an email from a friend that lives in Chicago.  She said it is getting colder than a rat's you know what over there (ok, those were my words--her words were "it's getting very cold over here").  Oh, how I envy her!!  Fall teased us here in Texas.  He made an appearance, encouraging us to pull out our long johns and comfy sweaters.  He fooled us into going out to buy firewood, anti-freeze and pumpkin puree.  Alright already!  Maybe I was the only one looking like a fool thinking Fall was here to stay.  Not so.  It has been very warm and humid the last couple of weeks.  But, good news--there is a cold front on the way.  Gonna get down into the 50's overnight.  Somehow, I feel like if I make warm, comfort food the cold front will catch a whiff of the aroma and hurry its way over here. 

My effort on Sunday was chicken and dumplings.  Today, my energies went into Empanadas.  For those of you not familiar with an Empanada, it is basically a turnover-like pastry filled with anything from beef, chicken or shrimp to vegetables to fruit.  Personally, I have only had the fruit filled ones, usually pumpkin or sweet potato filling.  I like the pumpkin ones best, which is fitting for this time of year.  Now, don't think I carved a pumpkin and harvested the inside for my empanadas because I didn't.  But I did contribute to the economy by buying some pumpkin puree.

So, lets get on with this recipe.  You will need a few rolls of pre made pie crusts (like Pillsbury, or you can make your own, if you are good that way), plus...

In a medium sauce pan, melt your two tbsp. butter or margarine over low heat.  Once it is melted add the 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and 1/8 tsp cloves and the pumpkin.  Cook until thoroughly warmed.

Once your filling is close to cooling, let your pie crust thaw according to directions and pre-heat your oven to 425.  When your crust is thawed, unroll it on a flat surface.

 

Next, you want to cut the crust into circles with a cookie cutter or something of the like.  It should be about 4" across.  I used my 1 cup measuring cup for the little ones and a cereal bowl for the bigger ones. 

Note:  As you cut out your circles, put your extra dough aside.  Once you are ready, knead the extras together, lightly flour your work surface and roll out the extra dough and cut that into circles.  Repeat until you no longer have enough dough to roll out.

Place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the circle (two or more for larger circles).

 Fold the dough in half and crimp the edges with a fork.

It's ok, you can say it--my photography skills could use some honing, focus at the very least.

Now, although I did not take pictures, I brushed the empanadas with an egg wash (1 egg beaten w/1 tsp. water) and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Place the pastries on a cookie sheet and cook about 15 minutes or till brown on top.  This was our first batch...

Not bad--pumpkin seeped out of the edge as I was crimping which is why that one looks burned on the edge.  Second batch...

D'oh!  Not so good.  It is better if the edges do not separate.  My theory is that I did not crimp it deep enough to seal it properly.  Not sure why that one got so brown...maybe too much egg wash.  Ready for the third batch??

Ahhhh, beautiful specimens! 

Main tips:

1.  Try not to let the pumpkin seep out of the edges to keep the edges from looking burned.

2.  Properly crimp the edges to keep the empanadas from opening up while baking.

3.  Feel free to play around with the amounts of spices to suit your taste buds. 

We sure wish you were here to share an empanada with us but so glad you stopped by today!!