These are delicious golden pastries stuffed with cuman scented sweet potatoes. The pastry is from JillAZ, see "Spinach Empanadas". I tried out this filling because I needed an additional vegetarian option for a wedding. While these do take a bit of planning ahead because the pastry and the filling have to chill, I have spread out the steps over several days. Once cooked and cooled, these beauties can be frozen and reheated at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. These are great with Cuban mojo dipping sauce.
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1⁄2 lbs jewel yams or 2 1⁄2 lbs garnet yams
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Dough: Cream the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer at medium speed.
- When well mixed, add the flour and salt in two or three additions and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.
- Turn out the dough and knead a few times to form a cohesive ball.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for at least three hours and up to a few days.
- Filling: Peel the yams and slice them into equal-sized chunks.
- Rinse the yams off and place them in a medium pot with about two inches of cold water.
- Bring to a boil, and then simmer until tender. 15 - 25 minutes depending on the size of the yams.
- When you can slide a knife easily into the yams, remove from heat and drain.
- Add butter, cumin, salt and a few grinds of black pepper and mash together until smooth.
- Chill filling until cool. If you make the filling right after the dough, they will both be ready at the same time, or you can cover and keep in the fridge for a few days.
- Assembly:Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Divide dough in half. Roll out one half to 1/8" thickness. This will be easier if the dough has only chilled for three hours, but if it has been overnight, it is still possible, just a little harder. Do not let the dough set out a room temperature.
- Cut out circles using a 3" biscuit cutter or a glass.
- Place your dough rounds on a cookie sheet, separating layers with waxed paper. Continue with the other dough half. The remainders can be re-rolled once to no ill effect. The dough rounds can be used right away, or kept wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to two days.
- Place about a teaspoon of filling in a dough round and fold in half. Pinch the edges together to form the empanads. There is no need to seal the edges with anything other than your fingers, although the tines of a fork make an interesting design.
- Place each filled empanada on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat about one inch apart.
- Make the egg wash by beating the egg with the water.
- Brush the egg wash on each pastry being sure to cover the entire empanada.
- Make a small slit in the top of each empanada with a sharp paring knife.
- At this point, I like to chill the empanadas for an additional 10 minutes to be sure that they keep their shape in the oven.
- Bake each tray at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until they are golden. Cool on racks.
Very tasty and simple to make - especially as I made the pastry and the filling ahead of time as suggested. I used half the pastry with your yam filling (yummy!) and the other half I filled with a savoury mince mixture. They went down a treat at a poker evening served with a sweet chili sauce.
In spite of the many steps involved here, these were fun to make, & I now have some frozen to use another time! The only change I made in the recipe was to use just 1/2 teaspoon of cumin (My other half really doesn't care much for it!)! Served these with a choice, either a homemade mojo sauce or a sweeter cranberry sauce & it was a toss-up as to which was the favorite! Thanks for sharing your recipe! [Tagged, made & reviewed for one of my adoptees in the current Pick-A-Chef]