Apple Cinnamon Empanadas

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These beauties were the direct result of an empanada maker I won at a Tupperware party. Yes, I’m 24 and I go to Tupperware parties. Willingly. The empanada maker also came with a little recipe brochure, which is where I got the recipe for these empanadas. These were made when I was feeling energetic enough to bake, but not so energetic that I would make a special trip to the supermarket for the missing ingredients, so please excuse the multiple substitutions.

Ingredients:
Pastry

  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  •  1 cup cornflour
  •  1 tsp baking powder
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  ½ cup of butter, melted and cooled
  •  ½ – 1 cup of water

Filling

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 granny smith apples (I used Fuji)
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sultanas
  • ½ cup apple sauce (I used another apple; peeled, sliced and stewed)
  •  1 egg, lightly beaten

To begin with, make the pastry by sifting the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Now stir in the melted butter with a rubber spatula until it resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add the water, stirring with the spatula until it starts to come together in a ball. Remove from the bowl and knead on a floured surface until smooth and pliable. Wrap in glad-wrap and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes, or as long as it takes to make the filling.

To make the filling, Place the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl together and stir to combine. Grate the apples, peeled if you wish, and place into the bowl of a food processor.

Add to the processor half the cinnamon mix, the juice and zest of the lemon (I only had bottled lemon juice in the fridge), the nutmeg, vanilla and apple sauce (or stewed apples). Process in short, sharp bursts until relatively smooth.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the sultanas.

Meanwhile, having removed your pastry from the fridge for 10 minutes or so to come to room temperature, flour your bench and rolling pin and roll out the pastry to about 1mm thick. This step was very time consuming; the pastry kept breaking and sticking to the bench which caused more breaking. Basically, a lot of flour is required for this step!

Now, taking your empanada maker (or scone cutter), cut circles in the pastry. Place a circle on the clam-side of the empanada maker (or your baking tray), brush the edges with beaten egg, fill with a large tablespoon of filling and press closed. If you happen to have this empanada maker, I would recommend rolling across the top of the open E.M. to cut out the circles of pastry. Those crimps are very painful on the palm of the hand!

Brush the top of the empanada with egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Place on the baking tray and repeat until all the pastry is used.

Make for about 20 minutes at 180° or until golden brown. I found that I had to turn my pastries over for a few minutes to make sure the bottoms of the empanadas were cooked. The pastry was delicious and, while it was difficult to roll out, it was very easy to make and has a nice flavour and texture. The filling was nice also, but you could put a variety of fillings in these and it would be great.

I ended up having leftover pastry, but no more apples so, using what I had, I created some savoury ones with onion, cheese and parsley. These were my favourites, but this is one of my favourite combinations so I might be biased.

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