These stuffed little pastries are found across Spain, Portugal, South America, however, each region has its own version, and I can see why, because once you know the basic method, you can try different fillings. This time it’s more or less a classic one, with tuna.
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
85g butter, diced
2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 for glazing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
120g tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato purée
140g can tuna, drained
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
1. To make the pastry, place the flour in a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles the breadcrumbs. Add the beaten eggs with 4-6 tablespoons of cold water, combine to form a dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the oil in a frying, add the onion and fry it over a medium heat, stirring often, for about 5-8 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrot, tomatoes, tomato purée, continue to cook until carrot is soft. After add tuna, chopped parsley, season to taste, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.*
3. Preheat the oven to 190C. Roll out the pastry to a 3 mm thickness. Cut out 24 rounds with pastry cutter, or an upturned glass. Put 1 teaspoon of the filling on each round, then brush the edges with water, fold over and pinch together.
4. Place the empanadas on an oiled baking tray and brush with egg all over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
* You can interpret the filling with whatever you have in the fridge-vegetable wise, and that’s the beauty of this bake. Be creative with a bit of chilli, some cumin, ginger, you decide. I have made these enough to advise though that if the filling is too wet, it will make the pastry hard to work with. If it is too wet, just pop it into a sieve and drain.