Delicious empanada is a great merienda option. Its handy size makes it the perfect flavor-packed meal for merienda you can eat while on the go. Best of all, you can make a big batch and store for that day you need a quick tasty snack.
If you’ve been delaying making homemade empanadas, you can rest easy. Here are five key tips in ensuring that your empanada recipe is delicious every time:
1 Use ice-cold water for the dough.
The dough is the first thing you’ll taste when you bite into an empanada, so it’s important that the dough is done right: it should be flakey with a tender crumb. When you make your dough, you’ll want to wet it using ice-cold water. Better yet, use water from melted ice. The cold water will ensure that the butter cut into the dough will not melt and will ensure that the dough becomes a wonderfully flaky texture once baked.
2 Let the dough rest.
Once you’ve made your dough, set it aside and make your filling. This time, you need to leave the dough alone to allow the flour to rest, a term that basically means allowing the flour to not only relax and stop the gluten development but also to become more hydrated from the water you added. This results in a dough that is easier to roll out than the one you didn’t allow to relax.
3 Make your filling extra flavorful.
Now you’re allowing your dough to rest, you can work on the filling. Whatever filling you’re making to stuff into your empanadas—chicken, beef, veggie, or a sweet pie-like filling—make sure it’s a flavorful one. Be creative with your spices and herbs. Be liberal with the salt, sugar, and other seasonings. This is because once each pie is filled, the bland dough will temper those flavors with each bite taken.
4 Keep the filling “dry”.
“Dry”, in this case, means any excess liquid has been drained out. Any liquid the filling develops while cooking is best allowed to evaporate to further concentrate its flavor. The filling needs to stay moist since it will be cooked again and is in danger of drying out too much.
5 Use milk, cream, or egg wash on the crust.
If you’re baking your empanadas rather than frying, brush each empanada with an egg wash or milk before baking. These two will ensure that each empanada develops a wonderfully browned and shiny exterior.
With these tips in mind when you finally make your own empanadas, the resulting pies will be some of the most delicious you’ll ever make or eat.