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Archive for the ‘Pastries’ Category

Are you in the mood for something stuffed?

Do you have a craving for something sweet and flaky?

Are you in love with little stuffed-baked-apple-pie also known as empanadas?

If you’re nodding yes to all of the above then preheat your oven to 375F and let’s start baking.

What you need for the pastry:

1 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 tablespoons iced water
1 teaspoon vinegar

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Then combine the iced water and vinegar and add in to the flour mixture and mix it all together until it forms a ball. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Then roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or you can use the rim of a drinking glass.

Place a small amount of the apple filling in the center of each circle and then moisten the edges with water and then fold it over to form a half circle. Now press the edges together to seal.

Brush the top with egg wash and then give it some cinnamon-sugar love to finish.

Pop that into the preheated oven and let the love bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling:
2 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

These cute little hand pies are definitely one of my go-to on fast and easy desserts. You can also make these ahead of time and freeze it until you want to eat them.

These apple empanadas are a great alternative to the traditional whole apple pie. Plus its less messy when you want to eat them on the go. Of course they are no rules here. You can plate them up really pretty and serve this up with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream for the full effect!

Ps: I love this hot with vanilla and caramel ice-cream.

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Little Meat and Potato Pie

I love making pies. When I was little, I remember being in the kitchen with my grandmother and watch her make pies on different occasions. The sight of her making the pie crust from scratch with her delicate hands feels somewhat soothing to me. And when I became older enough to handle my own pastry from scratch, my soothing theory was instantly validated.

These cute little pies are similar to the traditional shepherd’s pie concept, except for the rich and buttery pastry cases that holds the meat and potatoes together. You can be really creative here and add any filling you want. Take this to your loved ones or your neighbors. If you’re are living somewhere really nice and warm right now, then take this out to your picnic. Or if it’s freezing outside, then eat this by your fireplace. I packed mine up in a container and took it to the movies. It was pretty darn romantic, really.

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter cut in cubes
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup ice water, approximately

In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Then add in the cold butter and rub in with flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add in the egg yolk and enough water to make the dough cling together. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Wrap in plastic and let it rest in refrigerator for half an hour or until you’re ready to use. Roll out pastry dough on floured surface. Cut out twelve 3 1/2 inch rounds using a glass or pastry cutter; then gently press the pastry into the greased muffin pan.

Spoon the filling into the pastry cases and then top it with the mashed potato topping.

Bake pies in a preheated oven on 350F for 30 minutes or until the crust and the potato tops are nice and golden. Allow the pies to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Meat Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup of chopped red onions
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1/2 cup of carrots, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup white button mushrooms, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 bay leave

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Then sauté the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and mushroom together with some salt and pepper. Once the onions and carrots start to soften, add in the ground beef and cook until well browned. Then add the flour and continue to cook further for a couple of minutes. Now, add in the broth, worcestershire sauce and bay leave. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow it to simmer until the meat sauce starts to thicken. Allow the filling to cool down before making the pies.

Tip: you can also make this ahead of time and freeze it until ready to use.

Potato Topping
5 large potatoes, peeled and cut
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of light cream or whole milk

Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salter water. Bring it to a boil over high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain and mash the potatoes. Mix in the butter, cheese and light cream. Whip the potatoes with an electric mixer on medium speed until nice and smooth. Season it with salt and pepper.

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Every Christmas, my sister and I would go crazy buying different boxes of mince pie from different stores in search for that perfect pie. This all started when we tried our very first bite about six years ago in Winchester, England. Needless, to say we both feel in love with this delicious Christmas pie and ever since then, the quest for the perfect mince pie was on.

So this Christmas, I am making these little darlings in hopes that it will bring back those fond memories of the time we spend in Winchester.

You can dress up your mince pie anyway you like really. For me, I have always loved mine, mini and star topped. Just because it looks so cute and festive and also because i feel that eating Christmas treats that small won’t hurt my chances of fitting into my skinny jeans.

 

Recipe source: Nigella Lawson

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