My family goes for Moroccan flavors, so I make empanadas using beef, apricot preserves and pastry. Here’s a flaky hand pie with a spicy dipping sauce. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
- 3/4 teaspoon Moroccan seasoning (ras el hanout) or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin plus 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander and dash cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sheets refrigerated pie pastry
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- Preheat oven to 425°. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in cream cheese, preserves, carrot and seasonings. Cool slightly.
- On a lightly floured work surface, unroll pastry. Cut 40 circles with a floured 3-in. cookie cutter, rerolling dough as necessary. Place half of the circles 2 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Top each with 1 rounded tablespoon beef mixture. Top with remaining pastry circles; press edges with a fork to seal.
- Brush tops with egg yolk; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut slits in tops. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a microwave, warm sauce ingredients, stirring to combine. Serve with empanadas.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked empanadas on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until firm. Transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags; return to freezer. To use, bake empanadas as directed, increasing time as necessary. Prepare sauce as directed. Yield: 20 servings.
Originally published as Moroccan Empanadas in Simple & Delicious February/March 2016
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