By Pati’s Mexican Table
Latin-Asian fusion is hot right now, but Asian immigrants have been influencing traditional Mexican cuisine for centuries. Pati goes food shopping with her friend chef Janet Yu and gets inspired to create a menu full of Asian-inspired Mexican meals.
Empanadas de Ciruela y Nuez
Makes 10 Empanadas
– 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
– 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 stick), diced
– 1 egg
– 3 tablespoons sour cream
– 1/2 pound plums, pitted and diced (about 11/2 cups)
– 1/4 pound apricots, pitted and diced (about 3/4 cup)
– 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup dark brown sugar or shredded piloncillo
– 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
– 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
– 1/8 teaspoon five spice powder
– 1 egg beaten, for brushing
– Granulated sugar for dusting, or you may use turbinado or dark brown sugar
– Dulce de leche or cajeta, to drizzle on top or on the side for dipping (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and sour cream.
With your fingers, combine the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal (it should be crumbly). Rinse your hands and pour the beaten egg and sour cream into the large bowl with the crumbly butter mixture. Mix with a spatula until it comes together into smooth malleable dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
In a large bowl, combine the plums, apricots, pecans, brown sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and five spice powder and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Generously flour your kitchen counter and rolling pin. Roll out the dough about a to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into rounds about 4-inches in diameter. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with any leftover dough scraps until you have used up all your dough. Place a heaping tablespoon of the plum filling in the middle of each circle to make chubby empanadas, brush around the edges with the beaten egg and fold to make a half moon, gently pressing with your fingers to close the edges. Finally, use the back of a fork to seal the dough without breaking it.
Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the empanadas on them, as you may need to bake 2 batches or use 2 baking sheets. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the empanadas for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Serve warm or cooled and, if desired, drizzle with dulce de leche or cajeta.
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