Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Empanadas Anyone?

I just can't seem to help myself... when I see something fun and different, I really have to try it! So here it is, my 1st attempt at making Apple Cinnamon Empanadas! Delicious! Recipe to follow.

Let's start with the pastry. It was suggested that we use a 15 oz. package of refrigerated piecrust or packaged empanada dough, but I just can't bring myself to use processed foods. I found a recipe on Epicurious that had been review by several people and given a great rating, so I decided to use it. I made it in my Quick Chef and was really pleased with the results, but I will provide the original recipe for you just in case you haven't gotten your Quick Chef yet.

Both the dough and the filling makes enough for 12 pastries. Try them with savoury fillings too.

Empanada Dough


2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)
Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.

Apple Cinnamon Filling


4 apples peeled and cored
(or a 21 oz. can of sliced apples, drained)
1 lemon (use juice and zest)
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. Simple Indulgence Cinnamon & Vanilla Seasoning Blend
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup raisins

Place apples in Quick Chef (Ok, now you need the Quick Chef!)with blade attachment. Add remaining ingredients, cover and process until coarsely chopped. Melt butter over medium heat in Chef Series 9-1/2" Nonstick Fry Pan. Add apples and stir to coat. Lower heat and cook apple mixture 5 minutes until soft. Add raisins and cook until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough to a 12" circle on the Simply Perfect Pastry Sheet. Using the bottomside of the Empanada Maker, cut 4 rounds of pastry. Re-roll dough as needed. Place a cut round of pastry on the Empanada Maker; moisten edges with beaten egg or water.

Place heaping tbsp. of filling in center of Empanada Maker and close, pressing tightly to seal. Open and remove the sealed empanada and place on baking sheet lined with the Silicone Wonder Mat. Brush tops of empanadas with beaten egg. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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