Elizabeth Poett's Apple Empanadas with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Apple Empanadas with Bourbon Whipped Cream

byElizabeth Poett
Total 2 hours and 10 minutes (includes chilling time)
Active 70 mins
Makes 8 servings or 16 empanadas
My mother and I love making these empanadas together! We make a lot of different kinds of empanadas, but this sweet dessert is the perfect way to celebrate the apple season. The pastry is crunchy and flaky, the cinnamon sugar adds wonderful texture, and the frying process makes them absolutely decadent. People think they are a fancy food, but they are easy to make ahead, freeze, and then fry the day of a party. I like to serve them with small jars full of the bourbon whipped cream for dipping.
Special Equipment
a high-sided cast-iron skillet, deep-fry thermometer, mesh spider or skimmer
Special Equipment
a high-sided cast-iron skillet, deep-fry thermometer, mesh spider or skimmer
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled shortening
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 4 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Frying and Sugaring:
  • 6 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
    1. For the pastry: Measure flour and salt into a large bowl. Add shortening, using your hands to press the flour into the shortening. Slowly add the water, working the dough until you can squeeze into a ball. Place dough on floured surface and split into 2 equal balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
    2. For the filling: Combine apples, sugar, and nutmeg in saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir and cook until apples are soft but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool in saucepan.
    3. For frying and sugaring: Mix cinnamon with sugar. Set aside.
    4. Fill a small bowl part way with cold water and place at the edge of your workspace. You will use this water to seal the empanadas. Roll out first ball of dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 3 1/2-inch rounds, then use rolling pin to roll each round to make the dough slightly thinner. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the filling, placing 1 heaping tablespoon of filling onto each round. Place the filling to one side of the round, but away from the edge. Dip finger in water and wet the edge of the dough round. Fold the round in half over the filling, using a fork to crimp the edge, sealing filling inside.
    5. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
    6. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch in a large high-sided cast iron skillet. Heat oil over medium heat to 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
    7. Frying 3 at a time, carefully lower hand pies, one by one, into the oil. Make sure the pies do not touch each other. Keep pies in the oil, turning each one over once during the frying process, about halfway through. They will sink at first and then float up as they are ready. The pies should fry for 3 to 4 minutes total, and the pastry should be golden brown on both sides. Use a mesh spider or skimmer to pull pies out of oil and onto the paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon sugar on both sides.
    8. For the cream: Add cream to a medium bowl and whip with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and bourbon and whip until cream holds a peak.
    9. Serve pies warm with a generous helping of cream.