We have just finished cleaning up the last dishes from our 5th annual Cinco de Mayo party.  We still have to put the furniture back in place, but I’m feeling good about having a clean kitchen again.  So good in fact, that I’m making me some homemade yogurt this morning.  Mmmm.

Despite the hefty amount of preparation that went into my Mexican feast, I still managed to squeak out my weekly pie.  In the spirit of Mexico’s sweet victory against Napoleon in the 1862 Battle of Puebla, I made a sweet treat:  empanadas with carmelized apple and almond filling.

Here are the little beauties.

No, there’s no booze in the empanadas. The picture is also paying homage to Randy’s best-in-Milwaukee margaritas.

Ok, they’re not that beautiful, but some of them were way worse! The thing about empanadas and other items requiring putzy assemblage is that the more you do it, the better you get at crimping those pretty little edges. This won’t be the last time you see empanadas on my blog!

I used a recipe from my go-to book for these parties, Fiesta at Rick’s. It’s a fun book, and you can really riff on the recipes and not screw them up. Bonus!

To make them, use your favorite pie dough recipe and maybe add a touch more water if you’re like me. (For regular pies, I keep the dough as dry as possible, but still able to be rolled. You really have to handle the dough a lot with empanadas, so adding a touch more water will ensure they don’t fall apart on you.)

Roll it out into a big sheet or round, about 1/8 inch thick, and cut 3.5-4 inch circles.

Saute apples in butter with brown sugar and a pinch of salt until they’re good and caramelized.

Use almond paste, diluted with water for a spreadable consistency.  (Or you can use any nut you like. Grind it up in a food processor, then add a bit of butter to make it spreadable.)

For each empanada, spread a scant teaspoon of almond paste and top with a couple of teaspoons of apples.  Crimp the edges in anyway you like.  Here’s a good 1-minute tutorial.

At this stage, you can either freeze them or bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Brush with an egg yolk/water mixture, then pop them back into the oven for a few minutes to brown slightly.