Glazed blueberry empanadas. Let’s just think about those three words together! And what are my thoughts after I prepared them? I should have doubled the recipe! Are you like me when it comes to buying too many fruits and vegetables at once and then it’s a race to come up with recipes before they go bad? Yes, this happens to me often. I get excited, inspired and hungry to cook, when I visit the farmers market or market on the weekends. On this particular weekend it was about the fruit. A lot of fruit! And who buys more than 6 ounces of berries? Unless you plan to bake a pie or empanadas.
It had been quite a few years since I prepared blueberry empanadas. I say it was long overdue that I baked some.
The goal every time I prepare sweet empanadas is to make them small, just like my tia Minerva prepared. I never thought I would have the patience for it, but I finally have it down,
Glazed Blueberry Empanadas
- 12 ounces fresh blueberries
- 1 full cup cane sugar organic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 3/4 cups flour that have been sifted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/3 cup hot milk more or less
For The Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- Zest of 1 large orange
- In a heavy sauce pan, add the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. Heat to medium heat. Once the blueberries begin to break down and boil, reduce the heat slightly and stir as needed. The blueberries will cook at a steady simmer for at least 80 to 90 minutes or until the liquid reduces and the mixture becomes very thick.
- Once it has become thick, in a small bowl, mix the extract, water and cornstarch until smooth. While stirring, add this slurry into the blueberries. Cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and let cool completely before filling empanadas. Best if chilled overnight.
- In a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening using your hand or a pastry cutter. Mix in the egg yolk. Gradually mix in the hot milk and gently knead until dough comes together. If it’s still too dry, add a little more hot milk.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. When ready, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. While oven preheats, divide dough into 22-24 equal portions. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with plastic.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough balls to about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.
- Once you have your empanada disk ready, fill with 1- 1 1/2 full tablespoons of filling down the center, making sure you don’t get too close the the edges. Fold over and press gently around filling to push out any air. I like to use the pinch and fold over method for sealing, but you could also use a fork if that is easier. Transfer filled empanadas to prepared baking sheets.
- Bake on middle rack for 18-20 minutes or until edges begin to brown lightly. Move up to top rack and broil just to brown the tops lightly. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once empanadas are cool, prepare the glaze. In a bowl whisk together the ingredients until very smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place a wire cooling rack on top. Space out the empanadas evenly onto rack. Spoon on the glaze generously over empanadas. Let cool before storing.
Preparing fruit fillings for empanadas is pretty easy. It requires patience and a nice heavy saucepan.!
After you prepare the filling, it really is best that you chill it overnight before using it.
Don’t let those jagged edges fool you. Once you bring the two sides over and gently seal the empanadas, they will bake up just fine. I am not saying that they will all stay sealed perfectly. I think it adds character to the empanada!
I honestly prefer rolling out the individual empanada disc as opposed to rolling out the entire dough and cutting it out. That was the method I learned originally and that is the method I feel most comfortable with.
Did I mention that I have lost track on the hundreds of times I have prepared empanadas? Between sweet, savory, wheat flour, corn flour and so on, It’s been true learning experience!
My mom prepared empanadas mostly during the holidays. Empanadas filled with homemade pumpkin puree or pineapple. They were medium in size. She would often speak of my tia’s (her sisters) empanadas and how small and delicate they were. I was fortunate enough to travel to Monterrey and stay with my tia Miné for a whole month back in 2011. I watched as she prepared the traditional empanadas de piña. I remember the comment, from a friend, the first time I tried to recreate my tia’s empanadas. She basically told me that mine looked nothing like hers(my tia’s) and I agree, they did not. But look at mine now! Practice, practice and even more practice! Passion for what we do and love! This is how it’s finally done!
My empanadas, after many years of practice. Pure trial and error most days, but I would not give up!!
My Tia’s empanadas. Hers still much more beautiful in the fold, but I have time to improve.