One evening we were invited to our neighbor’s house for dinner and I was in shock when I saw a peach tree in their backyard. I was actually kind of annoyed that they had a peach tree with so many peaches and hadn’t told me. The tree limbs weighed down with peaches were drooping just inches from touching the grass. There were peaches galore! I was biting my tongue as they were telling me that they had no idea what to do with so many peaches. Um hello, foodie across the street! My mom was in town and she and I just looked at each other and at the same time we said, “Peach empanadas!” We are scary that way. So of course they gave us permission to pick as many as we wanted.
The next morning we were very excited to go peach picking and we picked a couple of heaping baskets. My mom and niece peeled the peaches and then mom made the filling. I have never made peach empanadas before so I was very excited mom was in town so I could witness how to make the peach filling just like grandma used to make.
Empanadas always remind me of my grandma. The aroma of the cinnamon and cloves combined with rolling out the soft dough with the precious wooden pin I inherited from my grandma make me feel like a little girl again watching my grandma bake in her kitchen.
I love that I can freeze the empanadas and bake at a later time. Simply freeze the empanadas (unbaked) stored in an airtight container. When you are ready to enjoy just preheat the oven, brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown.
These empanadas taste like winter with a hint of summer and remind me of a peach pie or peach cobbler. Trying to make this more of a summer treat we added a scoop of vanilla ice cream sprinkled with a pinch of ground cinnamon. The sweetness of the peaches wrapped in a light pastry and topped with cold creamy ice cream is my idea of a perfectly sized rustic classic great any time of year.
And if you are searching for a Fresh Peach Cobbler recipe hop on over to Jeanine’s blog.
Empanadas de Durazno (Peach Hand Pies) à la Mode
Fresh Peach Filling:
- 8 cups peeled and diced peaches
- 1 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of peaches
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
- 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Make Peach Filling:
- Peel and dice peaches. In a saucepan, combine peaches, sugar, water, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until peaches are soft.
- Remove excess water, and discard cinnamon and cloves. Mash cooked peaches with masher how much mashing? Like refried beans mashed? and cook for another 15 minutes stirring so peaches will not burn. Remove from heat. Set filling aside or refrigerate.
Make Empanada Dough:
- Mix the first 3 dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening. It is best to use your hands. Add the eggs, milk, and sugar. Continue to work in with your hands until you have a soft dough. Split the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Assemble and bake empanadas:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Take out half the dough and split it into 12 equal balls of dough.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough balls into small round circles. Place a small dollop of peach filling on one half of each of the dough circles. Wet the bottom edge of the circles with water to help seal the two halves. Fold over the dough to cover filling and seal off the edges with a fork by pressing down along the edges. This also makes for a pretty pattern when baked.
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Brush each empanada with some egg whites, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Puncture the top of each empanada with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
- Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray, place the empanadas on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes on middle rack in the oven. If after 15 minutes you notice the bottoms of the empanadas starting to brown, move the cookie sheet to the top rack and continue to bake for the last 5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Enjoy the empanadas warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate baked empanadas for a few days. Reheat in a toaster oven or bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.