Empanadas with Apple Filling

Vietnamese food

Empanada has half-moon shapes like Bánh Quai Vạc or Bánh Xếp in Vietnam but the most popular sweet filling of Vietnamese Bánh Quai Vạt/Bánh xếp is coconut, mung bean or pineapple. This dough can be baked or fried.  The ones on the left in the picture was deep-fried, the ones on the right were baked.  I used canned apple filling which is made with modified corn starch so the filling looked shiny but if we use regular corn starch, the filling does not look shiny like this.

Make 14 medium Empanadas
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
1 egg
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter or lard, cut into 1/2 in. cubes 
4-6 Tbs ice-cold water

1 lb apple, peeled, cored, cut into thin slices (1/4 in.)
2-4 Tbs sugar, depending on apples’ sweetness
1 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanila
2 Tbs cornstarch 
2Tbs water 
1 Tbs lemon juice (optional)
A pinch of salt (1/16 tsp)
Oil for deep fry

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt into a processor bowl. Pulse a few times. Add butter and pulse until resembles coarse meal texture (like brown sugar) with some pea size butter . Slightly beat 2 Tbs water with egg. Turn the machine on and pour egg mixture to the flour mixture through the feeding tube.while the machine running.  Stop, check and  add more water -1 Tbs at a time if needed- flour should be moist  and form a ball between your fingers.  Gather the dough into a ball, cover it with  plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2.  Peel apples, core and cut into small chunks.  Toss them with 2 Tbs sugar, 1 Tbs butter,1/4 tsp cinnamon and vanila in a medium sauce pan.  Cook it on  medium heat until apple soft about 10-15 minutes.  Taste to see if sweet &sour enough, add more sugar and lemon juice if needed. Mix cornstarch with water, then add to apple.  Continue to stir and mash apples with the spatula until most of the liquid evaporated. . Stir and cook until thicken. Do not worry if apple is not finely mashed. Let it cool completely.
  3. Divide the dough into 14 equal pieces, form each in a ball and roll it into  a thin round disc (5 inches diameter) on floured surface.  The dough does not need to be perfectly round.  Use a round cutter to trim if you want perfect circles. Spoon 1.5 tablespoon of apple filling into the center of each pastry, leaving 1/4 inch around the edges.  Lightly moisten the edges of the pastry with water, fold the circle in half and then press the edges together firmly to seal. Fold and crimp the edge  between your thumbs and forefinger to form a rope-like pattern around the edges or use a folk.  May cover and keep in the fridge for a few hours or freeze them for later use.
  4. Heating the oil to 350 oF,  and deep fry Empanadas until golden brown about 6-7 minutes. Drain on wire rack or napskins.   These can be baked but need to prick the tops of them several times with a fork or toothpick  to prevent leaking during baking. Brush with egg wash (beat one egg yolk with 1tsp water ) at 350 oF until golden brown about 25-35 minutes.

*If frozen, let them thaw for 3 hours at room temperature before baking or frying.

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