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When we visited my parents in England and wanted to give them a taste of genuine Argentinean empanadas we ran into a problem. There are no empanada delivery places in England. Oh, right, we’re talking about cooking not cheating... Our problem was the ready-made discs of pastry (tapas) that are so common in Argentina aren’t available in England. We hadn’t packed any in our suitcases and we also hadn’t brought along a recipe – I admit that due to the availability of the discs (and empanada delivery) in Buenos Aires I haven’t actually made the pastry very often and in England I completely forgot what I was supposed to do.
This recipe is an improved version of one I tried in England which omitted the egg and left us up to our elbows in dough that wouldn’t roll out. It’s a staple recipe; plain yet essential – once I’ve collected my thoughts and my recipes together I will post some of my favourite fillings.
To make dough for one dozen empanadas
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
100g butter (melted)
4-5 tablespoons of tepid water
1. Mix together the flour and the salt.
2. Form a dip in the flour and add the egg into the centre. Then mix in the butter and add the water a little bit at a time. Using your fingers is much easier than a spoon.
3. Mix and add water until you can form a firm ball out of the dough.
4. Place the ball of dough in the fridge for half an hour.
5. Sprinkle flour on a flat work surface and roll the dough into a fat tube. Slice the tube into discs about two or three centimetres wide. Squash with your hands or roll the discs flat using a small plate or a cup as a template.
You’re now ready for the filling, which let’s face it is the exciting part. Once you’ve filled the little discs you seal the edges like a pro then cook for 20-35 minutes at 400°C or until the empanadas are golden.
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