I’ve been putting off decorating the house for fall and even drinking pumpkin spice lattes because it just doesn’t feel like fall here in Florida. It’s been rainy, humid and nearly ninety degrees the past couple days and even though fall is officially here, it just ins’t sweater weather yet.
Despite all of that, I gave in the other day and did my first batch of fall baking. After finding some apples and some ready made pie dough in the fridge I knew what to make—cheddar apple empanadas, mostly because I’m such a big fan of cheese and fruit. A strong blue with pears, a mild brie with grapes, and a sharp cheddar with apples they are all winners in my book. I’ve seen recipes for cheddar apple pies before (but never actually baked one so) I thought I would use the same concept to make empanadas. Traditionally Cuban empanadas are fried but I always hate to deep fry anything because the entire house seems of oil for days so I opted to bake mine in the oven.
The result was sweet and savory treats that would be perfect for a potluck or fall get together. They could be served as an appetizer with a cocktail or with a scoop of vanilla gelato as dessert.
Cheddar Apple Empanadas
– One box of refrigerated pie crust, room temperature or one box thawed empanada dough
– 4″ round cookie cutter or bowl (if using pie crust)
– 1 large apple (I used a granny smith apple), diced
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
– 1 egg
– 1 tablespoon water
1. Preheat the oven to 425. If using pie dough, unroll the dough on a lightly floured surface and use the cookie cutter or bowl to cut out 10-12 round disks.
2. Meanwhile, cook the diced apple in a skillet over medium high heat with 2 tbs unsalted butter for 6-8 minutes or until the apple pieces begin to soften. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Place about a tablespoon of the apple mixture on one half of a pie disk. Sprinkle some cheese on top of the mixture and fold the dough over. Use the prongs of a dessert fork to seal the edges. Place empanada on a lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the other pie disks.
4. In a small bowl whisk the egg and water together to create an egg wash. Brush the tops of each empanada with the mixture and bake them for about 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Serve warm!