If you stayed away from making your own empanadas because you were intimated to make your own dough, DON’T be afraid! After trial and error & almost giving in to prepackaged pie crust, we found a great recipe from a book titled Empanadas: The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America. Not only is this dough flaky and delicious, but it also compliments any filling. The next time you’re having a small gathering of friends or family, give these a try. They make a great appetizer, side or snack for any occasion. 😋
An added bonus of this recipe is that it can be made gluten-free and tastes just as terrific!
Servings: about 12 discs using a 4½” round cookie cutter
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese, cubed & chilled
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed & chilled
- 1 egg beaten with a Tablespoon of water for egg wash
- food processor
- parchment lined baking sheet
- 1 ½ tsp of your favorite herb (i.e. thyme, oregano, cumin, etc. More or less to taste.)
- Combine flour, sugar, herbs & salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse for 20 seconds, or until combined.
- Add the cream cheese and butter and pulse until the mixture comes together and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Remove the pastry from the food processor.
- Divide the pastry ball in half.
- Shape each half into a flat disc on plastic wrap, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. ( Can be refrigerated up to 48 hours before rolling out).
- Remove from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes before rolling out.
- Using a well-floured pastry mat or surface and a well floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 1/8″ thickness. Keep your surface & rolling pin lightly floured to prevent sticking & tears in the dough.
- Using a 4″ to 4½” round cookie cutter or bowl, cut 12 rounds, rolling & cutting the scraps as needed. ( Keep scraps covered while working).
- Place 2 level Tablespoons of filling on the bottom half of each pastry round.
- Brush the edges with egg wash & fold over to form a half moon.
- Seal the edges of the empanada with your finger using your thumb or forefinger to look somewhat scalloped.
- Transfer the empanadas to the baking sheet & chill uncovered 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400º F, brush the empanada tops with egg wash.
- Bake 12-15 minutes until golden, halfway through baking rotate the baking sheet to ensure even baking.
- Remove from oven when done & let rest 3-5 minutes before serving. Best served warm.