Granny Smith Apple and Anjou Pear Empanada
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, medium diced
2 Anjou pears, medium diced
1 leek, white only, small diced
1 small bulb fennel, small diced
½ cup St. Francis Chardonnay
½ cup sugar
1 pinch thyme
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup almonds, toasted and slivered
1 small wheel Brie
1 egg beaten
2 cups rice bran oil or canola oil
- To make the pastry dough, whip the cream cheese, butter, salt, and sugar at a medium speed for 5 minutes in a mixer.
- Slowly add the flour and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
- On a floured counter top, roll out the dough until it is 1/6 of an inch thick. Punch out rounds 3 ½ inches in diameter and refrigerate.
- In a large sauté pan on medium heat add olive oil, leeks and fennel. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes then add the apples and pears.
- Season generously with salt and pepper, add sugar, Chardonnay and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the apple juice and add to the pan. Finish with the thyme. Refrigerate immediately and until cold.
- To stuff the empanadas fill the center of the pastry dough round with generous tablespoon of filling. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg then fold the pastry into a half moon.
- Use a fork to seal the edges by firmly pressing down with the prong-side of the fork around the unsealed-rounded edge. Keep refrigerated
- Fry empanadas in a small sauté pan with 1-2 cups of oil depending on the size. The oil should be at 325°, each side of the empanada should take about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oil and place a thinly sliced piece of Brie on top. To finish, sprinkle toasted almonds on top. If you would like to fry the pies ahead of time you always warm them in the oven then top with the Brie.