Pocket Pie Dough (Empanada)


Adapted from an Alton Brown Recipe     

Yield: enough for 10 to 15 pies


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg mixed with 2 teaspoons water
Oil or butter, for frying
Filling of your choice
(See Pocket Pie Filling recipes)

1. Sift, or place the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and salt, into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until combined, and then pour into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the shortening and knead it into the flour with your hands until it is crumbly.
3. Add the milk all at once and mix in with a spatula until it begins to combine.
4. Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough out onto the countertop.
5. Knead the dough ball, folding over 10 to 20 times.
6. Roll the dough to 1/2-inch thickness, and cut into rounds using a 2 1/2-inch ring.
7. Roll each round as thinly as possible or to 6 inches in diameter.
8. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto the dough
9. Brush a line of the egg wash on the bottom edge of each pie and fold edges over to form the pie.
10. Seal the edges together with the tines of a floured fork by gently pressing down to flatten. Return the fork to the flour as needed to prevent sticking.
11. Evenly distribute the filling in the pie and snip or cut 3 slits in the dough over the filling. (Dock pies that are going to be deep-fried, instead of snipping or cutting slits.)


Cooks notes:
To pan-fry pies, place a medium sauté pan over medium low heat along with 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil or butter. Place 2 to 3 pies at a time into the hot pan and saute until golden on both sides, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. Allow to cool 5 to 6 minutes before serving.

To deep-fry pies, heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or a large heavy pot to 375 degrees F. Once hot, add 1 to 2 pies at a time and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

To bake pies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place finished pies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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