After living in Northern Spain for eight years, my daughters developed a love affair with empanadas. We bought them from the bakery as an afternoon snack when they played with friends in the local plaza. We also bought them as an easy takeaway meal when I didn’t feel like cooking and served them up with a big salad.
When we moved back to New Zealand they missed their beloved empanadas so much that I had to find a recipe they were happy with.
These spelt-flour empanadas serve as a wonderful base for whatever filling you choose. We make the traditional mediterranean style empanada with tuna, tomato, onion and vegetables. But you really can make up your own rules and use whichever protein and vegetables you have on hand.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and have fun experimenting with the fillings. The empanadas keep well in the fridge and the girls often take one to school for lunch. However it is nice if you can gently reheat them in the oven before serving.
1 1/2 cups of white spelt flour
1 1/2 cups of wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 tsp salt
170 grams butter
4-5 tablespoons of room temperature water
1/2 red onion finely chopped
Approx 1 cup of spinach or other greens finely chopped
Organic pasta sauce
185g can of tuna
- In a large bowl mix the white and whole flour with the salt.
- Grate the butter and add to the flour mix.
- Using your hands rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Make sure to mix it thoroughly.
- Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the egg and 3 tablespoons of water. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Slowly add water one tablespoon at a time until you have a firm ball of dough forming in the center of the bowl.
- Gently knead the dough and divide into six even balls.
- Dust flour over a bench top and roll out each ball of dough one at a time.
- Cut out round disc shapes using a mold or small saucer (I use a coffee cup saucer)
- Place the rounds onto a lined oven tray while you prepare the filling.
- To make the filling gently stirfry the onion and spinach.
- In a small bowl mix the tuna with the onion and spinach.
- Add just enough pasta sauce to cover the mixture. If you add too much sauce it will leak out of the empanadas when cooking. Add tablespoons at at time until you get the right amount.
Assembling the empanadas
- Spoon the filling mixture into the center of the pastry rounds. Remember you will be folding the empanadas in half so you don’t want too much mixture, or it squeezes out the sides! I’m speaking from experience 😉
- Wet the bottom edge of the empanada with a little water
- Fold the top half of the pastry over the filling and seal the edges
- Gently fold and press the edges, using a little water on your fingertips to help seal it if necessary
- Brush the tops of the empanadas with oil or butter
- Cook in a moderate oven for approx 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top
- Leave to cool on a wire rack
We hope you enjoy the recipe