Empanadas: the original hot pocket, pop tart and Hostess Fruit Pie, but better. Sweet or savory, baked or fried – there’s something for everyone. Except… I haven’t eaten an empanada in more than eight years. Why? Because the dough is typically made with wheat flour. Yeah, that’s it. What a silly, limiting belief to not enjoy something so good.
So, I hopped to it – I had pre-made, uncooked, gluten free pie crust and pizza crust on hand – PERFECT for the dough. I grabbed some beautiful, sweet peaches for the filling, using this recipe; it turned out thick, sweet, full of fresh peaches with a touch of cinnamon. All that was left to do is roll out the dough, cut it into circles, stuff them with tasty filling and bake….this is where everything started to go down hill.
The pre-made pie and pizza crusts I had on hand expired; Suede did the smell and taste test and decided we shouldn’t risk it. He got up at 5 a.m. the next morning, ran to the grocery that’s 20 minutes away, all so I could finish this brainchild before the week got away from us. What a good guy, right? However, the grocery store discontinued carrying both the pie and pizza crust. He checked the frozen section for frozen, uncooked pie crust – no such luck. We finally settled on a pizza dough boxed mix. I prepped the dough, letting it rise and leaving it until I got home from work. It rose perfectly – now, all that’s left to do is roll out the dough, cut it into circles…can you see where this is going?
The pizza dough was some of the stickiest, least-manipulatable dough I’ve ever dealt with. And the more I tried to work with it, the warmer it became and my hands were caked in pizza dough mittens. YOU CAN’T MAKE EMPANADAS WITH PIZZA-DOUGH-MITTEN-HANDS. You also can’t make empanadas with dough that you can’t roll, cut and stuff. I had pretty much resigned to throwing everything away and promptly suppressing the memory of my empanada failure. Then, Suede and I had the same idea at the same time: we’d swirl the filling and the dough together, bake it in a loaf pan and see what happens. It turned out like a pseudo peach babka: pretty and actually tasted good. The yeasty, savory dough plays well against the sweet, rich peach filling. I’ll take a C- for this creation and I’ll also have to live with my empanada-deprevation for a little while longer. I think we’ll give it a few weeks, look for some proper dough and give empanadas another try.