Yesterday I started channeling my inner Rachel Ray and got a little creative in the kitchen. Maybe it was the recent full moon. Anyways, during this time of the year I start to crave comfort foods. I paid no mind to the fact that the high yesterday was 107 degrees F and still turned the oven on. Wishful thinking? I’d say so.
I bought a pre-made pie crust, wedge of brie, and a few green apples for this experiment. Hubby appreciated being the guinea pig for this. Here is the picture of the dough laid out. I have a biscuit cutter that I purchased years ago from the Pampered Chef. In addition to cutting round circles in the dough, it also perforated the edges which makes it easier to seal once the dough is stuffed and folded in half.
Below is the first pass. At first I didn’t want to use the oven given how hot its been here. These were actually baked in the toaster oven. They were a bit doughy. The flavor of the dough seem to overpower the ingredients. Hubby suggested that I baste them with butter and sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar. That apparently is how his mother makes her empanadas.
So back off to the kitchen I went. Here is the final product. They were quite good. The butter made the dough turn flaky and the cinnamon and sugar accentuated the tartness of the apple and the texture of the brie. The dough flavor this time did not overpower the filling. The next pass at this will include phyllo dough instead of pie crust. I’ll post the results and see if there is any difference in the flavor and texture.
1 refrigerated pre-made pie crust (should contain 2 pie crusts)
1 Granny Smith apple
1 wedge of brie cheese
2 tbls of butter or margarine
sugar & cinnamon for sprinkling
Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough out on a flat surface. With either a round cookie of biscuit cutter (the top of a drinking glass will do the trick as well) press into dough. Sliver the green apple into matchstick shapes. Thinly slice the brie and add both a sliver of apple and cheese to one half of the cut out dough. Fold in half and press edges with a fork. Roll out excess dough with a rolling pin and cut out as many round dough circles as able. Repeat this process until all dough is used. Once empanadas are all stuffed, place on a flat baking sheet. Melt butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Use a basting brush and apply liberally to the tops of empanadas. Sprinkle sugar & cinnamon over top. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn once during cooking. Cool for 10 minutes and the serve.
Brie and apple can also be substituted with pie filling (which I may try next). This was pretty easy to do. Where the holidays are coming up, I’m always looking for new things that are easy to make and that friends may enjoy. Next weekend I’m going to do this same recipe using the phyllo dough instead of pie crust. We’ll see how that works.