empanaditas pañaritas

If you’re wondering what sort of picture composition is that and what kind of unidentified globule is that in the middle of the plate, well, just read on.

Still reeling from my meringue-custard disaster, what was I doing carving limes and think I’d finish in time for Jeanne’s SHF 24? Well, I thought I could have a glacé fruit post but didn’t realise how much of a challenge it was for this particular example.

In any case, just for the spirit of the event, here is a platter of empanaditas or diminutive empanadas. These little morsels are also known as pañaritas, still from the word empanaditas.

Many countries the world over has its own version of the turnover. The Philippines has the empanada, courtesy of the Spanish conquest. These are palm-sized savoury pastries with meat and vegetable fillings. In my province, there is a small version, thus the name empanadita, but these are sweet and filled with fruit preserves or cheese. The dough for the miniature turnovers is different from the flakey savoury pastry though. Instead, they have a more crumbly texture.

For my take on empanaditas, I used two non-traditional fillings. The first is a chocolate-peanut blend. Someone gave me a bottle of cacao-peanut paste, which is what we use to make our traditional hot chocolate with. However, the blend smells like it’s made of equal amounts of cacao nibs and roasted peanuts. Well, not for me. So I thought I’d be creative with it. The second filling is made of apple and cinnamon, almost like the one for apple pie.

As for that unidentified globule, that’s a lime. It has been carved, hollowed and preserved in syrup. If you wish to find out how that is made, you’ll just have to cross your fingers! Next week, perhaps?
Empanaditas
Fillings

Chocolate

2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. flour
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons cacao-peanut paste

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour. Stir gently till free of lumps. Take off from heat and pour the condensed milk. Return to fire and stir gently till mixture thickens. Remove from heat then add the egg. Stir gently till well combined then return to heat. Add the cacao-peanut paste and combine well and let thicken to desired consistency.

Enough for approximately 40 empanaditas

Apple-cinnamon

1 large apple (I used a Fuji)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. muscovado sugar
1/3 cup water

Peel and grate the apple then combine with the cinnamon. In a heavy saucepan, boil the water and sugar for five minutes or till the sugar melts and mixture is reduced to half. Add the apple-cinnamon mixture. Simmer gently till thick.

Enough for approximately 20-25 empanaditas

Dough

200 g. flour (baker’s or AP)
135 g. butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup ice water

Combine the sugar and butter. Pour the water then blend. Add the flour and knead well. Roll out thinly on a floured surface then cut small circles, approximately 5 cm./2 in. across. Place approximately a teaspoon of the filling in the centre, fold and pinch the edges. Flute, fold or flatten with a fork. Use one design for each filling.

Arrange empanaditas on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees F) for five minutes or till light golden brown.

Dough makes around 60 empanaditas

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