Last Updated on January 12, 2024 by My Back Kitchen
The sweet aroma of apples fills the air, and suddenly, I am transported back to my grandma’s cozy kitchen. Empanadas de Manzana, the beloved apple turnovers, were more than just a dessert in our family; they were a cherished tradition that brought us all together. Today, I am excited to share this heartfelt recipe, brimming with love and nostalgia, which has been passed down through generations.
Stepping into Grandma’s kitchen was like embarking on a delightful culinary adventure. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and the ingredients were always playfully arranged on the counter. Watching her whip up these empanadas with ease, it seemed like magic. As a child, I eagerly peeled apples and helped mix the dough, knowing that every step was a connection to our family’s history and a way to create lasting memories.
The heart of these Empanadas de Manzana lies in the dough, and Grandma’s recipe was nothing short of a masterpiece. She carefully combined flour, salt, and shortening, guiding me in the art of achieving a texture resembling coarse crumbs. Adding just the right amount of hot water, we transformed it into a smooth, elastic dough. The anticipation of rolling it out and shaping the empanadas filled the kitchen with excitement and love.
The soul of these empanadas was undoubtedly the apple filling. Thinly sliced apples were gently mixed with sugar, allowing the pure essence of the fruit to shine through. Each bite was a delightful celebration of the apple’s natural flavor, and it made us appreciate the simplicity of this timeless treat.
As we assembled the empanadas and brushed them with butter, the kitchen became a sanctuary of warmth and love. The anticipation of biting into a freshly baked Empanada de Manzana was almost too much to bear. As they baked to a golden-brown hue, the caramelized sugar on the bottoms added an extra layer of delight.
Gathered around the kitchen table, we marveled at the platter of golden-brown empanadas. Grabbing one eagerly, we allowed the warm, flaky crust and luscious apple filling to melt in our mouths. The joy on everyone’s faces as they savored these homemade delights was truly priceless. Empanadas de Manzana were not just a dessert to us; they were a symbol of love, family, and cherished memories.
The recipe that Grandma lovingly handed down to us continues to bring comfort and joy. It serves as a constant reminder of the precious moments we spent together in her kitchen, baking and laughing. As I pass on this cherished tradition to future generations, I know that the magic of Empanadas de Manzana will continue to create memories that will be treasured for a lifetime. These apple turnovers hold a special place in my heart, and their legacy will live on through the love we share and the moments we create together. Enjoy!
Empanadas de Manzana
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Apple Filling ingredients
- 3 large red delicious apples peeled and sliced very thin
- 1.5 sticks salted butter melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
Making The Pastry Dough
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Mix well. Using your hands, mix in the shortening and crumble into flour mixture until it resembles wet sand.
- Pour boiling hot water into flour mixture and stir with wooded spoon until combines and the dough is not too hot to work with. Tip out onto lightly floured surface and kneed dough until it comes together (being careful not to overwork the dough). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough, and kneed it 2-3 times.
- Divide dough into 20 equal pieces. Using the palm of your hands, kneed each piece by folding the outer edges into itself until a round smooth ball is formed. Cover with a damp paper towel.
Rolling, Filling and Baking
- Using a rolling pin, roll one piece of dough into a very thin circle. You should be able to see the surface underneath the dough. Using a pastry brush, spread melted butter on the full surface of the rolled out pastry.
- Place several pieces of the thinly sliced apple on one half of the dough, making sure to leave at least a 1/4 in border of dough exposed to seal.
- Pour a heaping teaspoon of granulated sugar on top of the apples.
- Fold over the exposed half of the dough over the apples, meeting the edges of the other side of the dough and press lightly with the prongs of a fork to seal. Gently move the empanada to a prepared cookie sheet (making sure not to overcrowd your cookie sheet).
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough and apples.
- If baking immediately, brush the top of each empanada on the cookie sheet generously with melted butter and sprinkle a remaining teaspoon of sugar on top of each one. Make sure you get the sugar onto the crimped edges…this is what will mingle with the juice of the apples to create caramelization.
- Bake at 350 degrees (on middle rack) until golden brown and sugar on the bottom of the empanada has started to caramelize. Remove from oven and using a hard spatula, immediately remove each empanada from cookie sheet (scraping up any soft caramelized sugars from pan) and place upside down on wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batches.