Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Strawberry Cream Cheese Empanadas

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With quite a bit of strawberries on hand, you can be sure there will be more berry-licious recipe featured on my blog this week! This recipe for Strawberry Cream Cheese Empanadas was inspired by Ina Garten's Cheese Danish recipe I made awhile back.Using the filling recipe for the danish, I paired it empanada dough for this sweet treat...

I really liked Ina's recipe for Easy Cheese Danish and thought the filling recipe would be just as good in an empanada, along with fresh sweet strawberries. These empanadas are baked, not fried, but you can certainly fry them up if you prefer a crispy shell. It's important to really crimp down on the edges to seal otherwise the filling will ooze out... which may or may not be a bad thing. The filling is a nice blend of creamy cream cheese and ricotta with bursts of berries swirled in. It's definitely a different spin on the common savory empanada with the appeal of a sweet pastry.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Empanadas
inspired by Ina Garten

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
1 package empanada dough rounds (12 small or 10 big)


To make the filling, place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don't whip! Fold in the strawberries and set aside until ready to assemble.

To assemble the empanadas, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a large baking sheet in the oven. Using the premade empanada dough, place 1/3 cup of filling mixture in the center of each dough round. Brush the edges of the dough with water and fold dough over the filling. Press the edges to seal and crimp the edges using a fork.

To bake, drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the surface of the large preheated baking sheet and then return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the empanadas onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the empanadas with oil. Place the baking sheet of empanadas in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until well browned and crisp. Cool empanadas on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve.

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Prepare the empanadas as directed above. Once assembled, place empanadas in a gallon sized freezer bag in one layer. Remove any excess air from the bag and freeze flat. When ready to prepare, preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a large baking sheet in the oven. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the surface of the large preheated baking sheet and then return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the frozen empanadas onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the empanadas with oil. Place the baking sheet of frozen empanadas in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until well browned and crisp. Cool empanadas on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve.

6 comments:

ashley said...

oyyyy these look & sound delicious! and you definitely can't go wrong with an Ina recipe!

Laura T. said...

These look awesome. I usually make a guava paste-cheese version, and use a fresh, salty Latin cheese to cut some of the sweetness from the guava paste. I never thought to try strawberry-ricotta, but they sound just as pop-able.

m @ random musings said...

these sound great! I didn't see how many empanadas this recipe makes. Is it the full package of wrappers [10]?

Thanks

Joy said...

Those looks wonderful. I like how you used ricotta cheese and cream cheese.

Memória said...

I have some leftover strawberries that would love to be part of this dessert. YUM!

Butterfly said...

Mmmmm, looks awesome!!!

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