A healthier version of your favorite fried empanadas, these ones aren’t too difficult and you can fill them with whatever your heart desires. I’m hosting dinner for some friends tonight and I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen since I got up this morning. Why did three different fillings sound like a good idea?! While the fillings aren’t South American in any way, I chose the general theme of empanadas to go with the round of Chilean Pisco Sours I plan to make. My new favorite drink. I’ll share that recipe with you this week too, so stay tuned…
2+1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups maseca (masa/corn flour)
1 cup cold butter, diced into small cubes
1 tsp salt
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1/2 to 3/4 cup cold water
1 additional egg for egg wash
filling of your choice, made and cooled to room temperature. I made Indian spiced potato, onion and peas, Tex Mex style caramelized onions, peppers, and black beans with mozzarella, and Greek style spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and feta cheese. You can stuff them with anything you want, even sweet!
-Place all the dry ingredients in a stand mixer with a paddle and turn onto low speed to combine well.
-Add the cold diced butter and return to low speed until the butter is well incorporated and until you can only see small little pieces throughout.
-Add the egg and the cold water (just add 1/2 a cup of water to start, and then add more slowly as needed), and return again to low speed.
-Paddle the dough until it begins to come together in a clumpy but moist dough. Slowly add water just until the dough starts to hold together nicely.
-Dump out the dough onto a work surface and knead a bit with your hands until the dough holds together somewhat like playdough.
-Roll out into a flat disc with a rolling pin to be sure it’s got enough moisture to hold together when rolled out, and at this stage refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour.
-Once the dough has chilled nicely preheat your oven to 400F and begin rolling out the first half of the dough. If you’ve added enough water the dough will hold together nicely when rolling out, but be sure to roll it out gently with a little bit of pressure at a time. Don’t press down harshly all the way, or the dough will crumble and break around the edges. Take your time.
-Roll out nice and thin like you would a tortilla, and then cut into rounds approximately 5 inches across. The dough may show a slight bit of shrinkage if you re-roll any of the scrap pieces. This is ok, just roll gently and make a little thinner to account for the slight springback.
-Place all the rounds into the fridge (wrapped so they don’t dry out!) and take them out of the fridge one or two at a time to fill. Take a rolling pin to each of the rounds and roll out a tiny bit more to soften and make pliable so you can fold over and press the edges.
-If the dough is too cold or too thick it will be hard to fold over and pinch the edges. So just adjust as you go. Trial and error is the only way to fill with fillings, it’s guaranteed that your first one will be way to full to seal closed! Once you get the hang of it – fill each, being sure to egg wash the edges to help seal them closed, press around the outside with a fork, and place them all back in the fridge before baking.
-Once all the empanadas are formed your oven will be nice and hot, take them directly from the fridge, brush on a coat of egg wash all over, and place into the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
-Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
How the dough will look when it’s moist enough: slightly crumbly so that it’s not overmixed, but will hold together in a soft clump like playdough when you squeeze a fistful: