Apple Pie Empanadas

I hope everyone had a wonderful FROZEN Valentines weekend! And a Happy Presidents Day to you, on yet ANOTHER frozen day. I don’t know about anyone else, but COVID, coupled with arctic weather conditions is enough to make anyone go stir crazy. I find that all I’ve been doing is BAKING, EATING, more BAKING and EATING, well, OK, truth be told, I do also try to paint here and there (if you get bored enough during these dire living conditions, you can check out some of them on my Instagram page.). If you’ve scrolled through my site, you may have noticed lots and lots of baking posts. HA. Yes, that is how bad it has been.

All thing considered, it truly is not all that bad. I appreciate all this time I get to spend at home, with no social obligations, traffic, or crowds, and getting to focus on all my hobbies. I’ve never had this much time to paint, garden, bake, cook, walk my two precious puppies, read, binge-watch shows…and share all the recipes I’ve been testing out since March 2020!

I am a huge fan of old-fashioned apple pies. No bells and whistles, just the delish dichotomy of sweet-salty with a touch of tart, wrapped in flakey dough. What’s even better is making them into little pockets that are freezer-friendly and great for when we can all finally get together again and have friends and family over! The photos you see here are empanadas made with whole wheat flour. I try to be healthy. 😉 I’ll post again when I make a more keto-friendly empanada. I found some recipes that use almond flour, which sounds promising to me! I also made savory empanada with a black-bean and veggie sauté (black beans, kale, arugula, yellow onion, celery, garlic, purple cabbage).

Apple Pie Filling

  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons light brown sugar, packede
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of a large lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, thoroughly coat the apples with lemon juice. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add apple mixture and coat with melted butter.
  3. Cover lid, allow to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the mix doesn’t stick to the pot.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to heatproof bowl.
  5. Set aside as you make the empanada dough.
  6. Be sure the apple filling has cooled to room temperature when it’s time to start making the empanadas.

Dough Ingredients

Makes about 8 large empanadas

  • 2 1/4 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes ~ I LOVE Kerry Gold unsalted butter. Add another stick of butter if you want this extra flaky.
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 2 tablespoons organic milk
  • 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
  • 1 glass of ice water ~ you will only use 1/3 cup

Instructions

  1. Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add butter and blend with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
  3. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork.
  4. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. Your dough will look shaggy.
  5. 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. Do not overmix and over knead.
  6. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.

Form Empanadas

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Position an oven rack at the top.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Gently roll out the dough into a log. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and form each into a ball. I find that it’s easier to roll the dough ball on a hard surface, using the center of my palm. They do not have to be perfect.
  4. >Roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 8″ circle. Keep remaining pieces covered with a cheesecloth, chilled if possible.
  5. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons filling to the center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling.
  6. Press edges together with your finger tips, press a fork around edges to seal.
  7. Transfer empanada to a large freezer-proof plate. Repeat to make the remaining 7 empanadas.
  8. Freeze until just firm, about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.
  10. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with some hot tea. YUM!

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