First blog post since I moved to Austin and OF COURSE, it's about food. Specifically, something I've never made before — Cherry Empanadas (Tasty calls them 'hand pies' but no, they're Empanadas. Get it together, y'all).
I lost my baking and cooking groove for awhile there after moving, but everrrrrr so slowly I'm getting it back, one new kitchen gadget at a time (P.S. Shout out to the H-E-B Plus in Kyle, TX where I bought a ton of shiny, new stuff for my mismatched collection).
But enough about my impending episode of Hoarders, onto the Cherry Empanadas I found on a late-night Instagram walkabout. Cherry season is upon us, so what better way to kick it off with these little beauties.
Let's get started
The gist of your ingredients (minus the almond extract and flour)
Ingredients: As always, musings in red
- 10 oz of frozen, pitted cherries - 1 bag (since cherry season has kicked off, fresh would work too, but I'm lazy. Make sure to thaw these.)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (I used regular ol white sugar for this)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract** (I was planning on using vanilla extract until I went to look for it. It grew legs and ran away in the last month or so, so didn't use it)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (again, lazy, I used lemon juice out of a bottle)
- 1 lb of frozen puff pastry, 2 sheets (My go-to is the Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets because they're usually the only one in the freezer section, and there's a coupon inside! DO NOT LET THESE THAW OUT COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU USE THEM - SEE BELOW ON STEP 4)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Raw sugar (I used a few packets of Sugar in the Raw, but any kind of turbinado sugar will do)
- Pinches of flour (optional, not apart of the original recipe)
There's a handy video here for a visual run through, but just in case some of you missed my lovely quips and musings, here's a walk through:
1. Combine thawed cherries, regular sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, unless you forgot it like me, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes, crushing the cherries with a spoon and stirring occasionally.
Bubbling cherry goodness
2. Remove from heat and let cool*
*Pro-tip: Make sure you straight up cool this all the way, I burned the crap outta my finger. No bueno.
3. Pre-heat oven to 425˚F (220˚C)
4. Flour a large surface (I just used my countertop - use only a little bit to help with sticking, too much and you'll be able to taste it in the pastry). Roll out the puff pastry*. Using a cookie cutter or (or the blender part of my personal blender because I only have halloween cookie cutters) cut 9 rounds out of each sheet of pastry. Try to get these rounds a little bigger because if you're like me and overfill these things, it's gonna be a pain in the butt later if your cut outs are too small.**
Making use of what I've got!
*Pro-tip: Don't let your pastry completely thaw out. You'll have a sticky mess and then you're gonna give up and go drink margaritas instead of finishing (...maybe you should let it thaw? Decisions.)
Near perfect cutouts (I see you, top right)
**Extra special Pro-tip: You will have extra puff pastry. Save yourself the headache of trying to re-use and rolling back out again. I tried. Failed. Ultimately found myself yelling at puff pastry. Be better than me.
5. Fill each round with a spoonful of cherry filling, but not too much, maybe 3 cherries worth or so (again, depends on how big your circles are). Fold in half over the filling and pinch the edges closed with your fingers, followed by a fork to really seal them in*.
Yes, these look ugly right now. But soon they'll be BEAUTIFUL!
*Pro tip: THERE WILL BE SPILLAGE. Don't worry, it happens to the best and worst of us (I'm lookin at you, Ina). Get the filling closer to the middle, use your fingers while you're folding it over. Wash 'em later.
6. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a snazzy new silicone baking mat like the one I FINALLY bought - reusable, cheapish depending on what brand you buy, and no big mess later. Brush with egg wash (your beaten eggs) and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Lovely folded pockets (with some spillage, whatever)
Brush on your eggwash
And sprinkle on your sugar
7. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown and puffy. DO NOT open the oven to take peeks. Trust the process.
8. Cool slightly. Stuff in Face. Enjoy!