• Cooking Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Preparation Time:


Serve warm, these are great with ice cream also.


  • For the apple filling:
  • 4 Rome or Gala apples
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup rum or port wine
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup white sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • For the empanada dough:
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter (one stick cut into small pieces)
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water, plus extra if needed
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • [ Note: For an even easier dessert, you can buy frozen empanada discs in many supermarkets or Latin markets. They have paper separators, and when defrosted, are ready to fill and bake.]


  • Prepare the filling:
  • Soak the raisins in the rum or port wine, and allow to plump up while you prepare the apples.
  • Peel and core the apples, and cut them into 1/4 inch dice.
  • Toss them with the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  • Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter.
  • When the foam begins to subside, add the apples and stir well to coat.
  • Lower the heat to medium and cook the apples for 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add the minced lemon zest, cornstarch, freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg, 1/4 cup of white sugar and the brown sugar.
  • Add the plumped raisins with the liquor and stir well to combine. When the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Prepare the empanada dough:
  • Mix the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix well.
  • Add the chilled butter pieces and pulse in short bursts to cut the flour and the butter together. The mixture should resemble crumbs. Do not overmix.
  • Slowly drizzle in ice water a little at a time, and process just until the mixture comes together into a ball.
  • If it’s a little dry, add just a splash more of the ice water, being careful not to add too much.
  • The mixture should just hold its shape.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
  • Sprinkle a clean countertop with a little flour and roll out each piece of dough from the center outward, rotating occasionally, until the dough is slightly less than ¼-inch thick, and about 6 inches in diameter.
  • Use a little more flour, as necessary, if the dough becomes sticky.
  • Dust the circles with flour, stack them, and wrap in plastic wrap while you roll out the rest.
  • Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl and set aside.
  • Working with one circle of dough at a time, place about 2 tablespoons of filing in the center.
  • Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush a little of the egg wash on the outside of the dough and fold each circle over, pressing to close.
  • Crimp the edges to form a fluted finish, and lay on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Brush the tops of the empanadas with additional egg wash, then sprinkle with the remaining white sugar, and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minnutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

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