Empanadas are basically bread pies but they are a typical example of the tasty Spanish food from the region of Galicia. The recipe varies from town to town and everyone in Galicia claims to know the best recipe for empanadas. Empanadas can be found across Spain so whether you visit Madrid or Barcelona or anywhere else in Spain, you are sure to find someone selling or serving these tasty Spanish pies.
Furthermore, Empanadas can be found across the globe and especially in South America where the large number of Galician immigrants made the empanada gallega popular. Now every country on the continent has its own versions of the pastry, from Argentina to Venezuela. So if you ever visit Latin America as well then you should try and taste them all!
Usually however, empanadas are savoury pies and tend to be filled with heavy fillings made of meat such as pork, fish or chicken. However this Spanish empanada recipe is part of the group of dessert empanadas which contains different types of fruit that eaten after a meal or at the Spanish equivalent of afternoon tea.
This recipe therefore makes a delicious Spanish apple pie of sorts. For the best result, you should try and use some slightly tart or acidic apples, which when combined with the apricot jam, give a wonderfully rich flavour. The dough too can also be made with corn flour which will make a better dessert empanada but it is not always as easy to find, or as cheap, as plain flour, which works fine too!
Despite seeming like a simple dish, the empanada has become quite popular amongst many gourmet chefs and it is not uncommon to find it on the menus of some fancy Spanish restaurants. However, the homemade versions are definitely best, and much more fun to make!
Empanada de Manzana | Spanish Apple Pie
- To make the dough:
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tsps active dried yeast
- ½ cup whole milk, warm
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2½ cups plain flour, plus some extra for dusting
- To make the filling:
- Olive oil for pan
- 5 tart apples, peeled and cored, cut into 2 cm thick slices
- 5 tbsps sugar
- 3 tbsps apricot jam (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- To make the dough, whisk together the egg, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk and leave to stand for around 5 minutes or until the liquid is foamy.
- Add the yeast and milk mixture and the butter to the mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add about half of the flour to the bowl and mix in with a wooden spoon. Then add the rest of the flour bit by bit, mixing constantly. Once all the flour has been added, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until the down is elastic but not sticky. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise until it doubles in size, around an hour and a half.
- Preheat the oven to 230ºC (450ºF) and prepare a baking tray wil olive oil.
- Once the dough has risen, divide it into 2 pieces on a floured surface. One piece should be slightly larger that the other. Roll out the larger piece with a rolling pin so that is bigger than the tray. Place on the prepared tray and oress the dough over the bottom and sides of the tray. Puncture the dough with a fork in a few place to stop bubbles being formed.
- Next, layer the apple slices over the dough neatly. Sprinkle the apples with sugar and then brush with the apricot jam is using. Toll out the second piece of dough into a smaller sheet than the first and layer it over the filling. Neaten the edges.
- Using your fingers, seal the pastry by pressing the crusts together. Pierce the top of the dough with a fork to allow steam to escape while it is in the oven. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until it is brown in colour. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.