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Apple Empanadas are near and dear to my heart. My father’s family owns a ranch in Durango, Mexico. We mainly grow APPLES!
When it’s harvest time, it’s apple jam, apple wine, and you guessed it, these yummy hand pies.
This sweet treat is an authentic Mexican dessert recipe just like Flan, Pastel de Tres Leches, and Conchas.
The filling is so so good. Add to the dough and bake to golden brown perfection!
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the butter.
Some people like to do this in the food processor. You can even do this by hand, but be careful not to warm up the butter too much, or you won’t have a flaky pie crust.
Dice the butter. Then return it to the fridge. Take out and then mix into the flour mixture.
This will ensure that the butter is cold for your homemade empanada dough.
- Cut in the butter.
- Slowly add water.
Before adding the water, pinch some of the dough together. If it holds together, it’s time to add the water.
Too much water will make the crust tough. Only add the water necessary to make the dough.
Note: A faster way to make this dessert is by using refrigerated pie crust from the store.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge. Minimum 1 hour.
The dough will last in the fridge up to 2 days.
Do this step ahead of time, if you can. It will make for easier baking.
- In a large skillet, add butter, Granny smith apples, sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves.
- Cook on medium heat.
- Add the flour.
Flour acts like a thickener and will give the filling a thicker consistency.
You only want to soften the apples. They should still have a bite to them. Only cook for a few minutes.
If cutting the apples ahead of time, prevent the diced apples from turning brown by drizzling them with lemon juice.
- Remove skillet from heat.
- Let the apples mixture cool completely.
If you add the filling when it’s still warm, the dough will start to cook. This will produce tough empanadas.
You can even make the apple mixture a day before assembling. It’ll last up to 5 days in the fridge.
- Take a small ball of pie dough.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured surface. About 4-inch circles.
- Add the apple pie filling.
- Fold over.
For a more perfect sweet empanadas, roll out the entire dough. Then, using a circle cookie cutter, cut out the dough.
In essence, we’re making mini apple pies.
Dessert empanadas don’t have to be perfect as long as they taste good, right?!
- Using a fork, seal the two ends of the dough.
- Do this around the empanada, make a half circle.
The easiest way to seal the dough is using a fork.
Or fold the dough over with your fingers.
- Brush with egg wash.
- Make a few slits in the center of the empanada.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes on a baking sheet.
To make the egg wash: Mix egg with water in a small bowl.
The slits will allow the filling to vent the little hand pies. Two to three small slits will do the trick.
Instead of baking, you can also make air fryer empanadas made with a savory filling.
Here’s the hard part… waiting! Luckily, cooling the empanadas will only take a few minutes to cool.
Apple Empanadas last up to 5 days in an airtight container.
How to Freeze
- Place the empanadas in a large plastic bag and remove as much air as possible.
- Freeze up to 6 months.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes (or until warm) to reheat.
Try these Apple Empanadas (or apple pie empanadas) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce. Easy and delicious treats that you just can’t beat!
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For the Filling:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 7 apples peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tspn ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tbsp flour
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
For the Dough:
- In a large bowl, add the flour and salt.
- Mix to combine.
- Cut in the butter.
- Pinch the dough. If it holds together slightly, slowly add the water.
- Only add the water necessary to bring the dough together.
- Form one large disk. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour, up to 2 days.
For the Filling:
- Heat the butter and add the apples.
- Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and flour.
- Mix well.
- Cook for 1 more minute.
- The apples should still have a bite.
- Cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or greased foil paper.
- Take the dough out of the fridge.
- Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling out.
- Sprinkle a clean surface with flour.
- Cut 12 balls from the dough.
- Roll out each ball individually.
- Add 2 tablespoons of filling to the center of the dough.
- Fold over the dough to create a semi circle.
- Using a fork, seal the edges.
- Set on a cookie sheet.
- Repeat until all the empanadas are formed.
To Make the Egg Wash:
- Beat the egg with the water.
- Brush the top of each of the empanadas with the egg wash.
- With a sharp knife, make 2-3 small slits for venting.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
- Serve and enjoy!
Oh how I love apple empanadas! I’ve always been intimidated to make them but you made this seem very approachable! Thanks for sharing!
Hope you give this recipe a try it’s so simple and delicious !
Oh my goodness these look so scrumptious! I must make these!
You will love them! Hope you try this recipe.
These are just PERFECT! I love how they’re little pockets of apple goodness. They’re just right for lunch boxes and snacks! Thanks for sharing 😀
They are right for everything! So delicious, glad you liked it!
These are so fun! Perfect blend of cultures!
I think so too! Glad you liked the recipe.
These were so delicious and easy to make! They tasted like mini apple pies!
They do! Glad you liked it
Dolly @ Thrifty in the Kitchen
Wow! These sound absolutely delicious! I think I can just smell those apples now…yummy!
It’s so good. Hope you try it!
So yummy. I added a 1/4 cup of spiced rum and a handful of caramel bites. Really gave a whole new flavor. The smells are just amazing during the holidays.
Those are great additions. I’ll have to try that next time I make apple empanadas.