Apple Turnovers Recipe

The house that my parents bought in El Paso was a three room house with four fruit trees in the backyard—apple, apricot, peach and membrillo (quince). Mi mama never let anything go to waste; she would preserve and can all the fruit. She sat for hours peeling piles of apples and then she would make warm apple pies and empanadas. Whenever I smell these empanadas baking, I envision mi mama in the kitchen by my side humming and smiling. I have simplified the recipe to avoid cooking the apples first, and they come out just as tasty as mama's.

Apple Turnovers Recipe
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  • 4 cups granny smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 batch empanada dough (see below)
  • canned evaporated milk or egg white
  • cinnnamon-sugar mixture (1 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 1/4 cup sugar)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except dough together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Divide empanada dough into 24 pieces. On a floured surface, roll out the dough pieces into small round circles.
  3. Place a small dollop of apple filling on one half of each of the rolled-out circles. Wet the edges of the circles with water to help seal the two halves. Fold over the dough and seal off the edges with a fork by pressing down along the edges. This also makes for a pretty pattern when baked.
  4. Brush each empanada with some canned evaporated milk or egg whites, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Puncture the top of each empanada with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
  5. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray; place the empanadas on the cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 20 minutes on middle rack in the oven.
  6. 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.
  7. Mix the first 3 dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening. It is best to use your hands.
  8. Add the eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Continue to work in with your hands until you have a soft dough.
  9. Split the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes.
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