Pizza Empanadas

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If you lived in Brazil, you could pick up Pizza Empanadas at any one of many local pastelarias. Pizza Empanadas are considered a “fast food” in Brazil, so popular that the eateries have them already made up fresh every day.

A classic Brazilian salty snack (“salgado”), Pizza Empanadas are a flaky pastry filled with deli ham, cheese, oregano, and sweet tomato. Super yummy!

Pizza Empanadas

(Photo Attributed to Author: stu_spivack)

Pizza Empanadas Recipe-

For the dough-
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, chilled
  • 6 oz. cold, unsalted butter, sliced into small pieces
  • large egg, chilled
For the Filling-
  • 3/4 cup shredded deli ham
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large egg, yolk and whites separated
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
  • Salt, to taste
For a Condiment-
  1. mix the flour and salt together in a food processor; add the butter, egg, and 5 tablespoons of water until a clumpy dough forms. Do not over-process your dough, just blend it enough to become congruous.
  2. Form the dough into balls then wrap them in saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for half an hour to chill.
  3. Unwrap the balls and roll them out on a floured working surface into thin sheets. Work from the center out during this step.
  4. Cut round disc shapes out of the sheets, using a 5″ or 6″ mold cutter. (even a wide mouth jar lid will sometimes work just fine. If you are making enough Pizza Empanadas today to use all the dough rounds, fine. But if you want to store some (or all) of them for later use, stack them on top of each other with a plastic wrap between each round, then store them in the freezer in a ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Note: when using them at a later date, unthaw them gradually (24 hours) in the refrigerator. Direct unthawing at room temperature can cause them to go bad.
  5. Now for the filling. Mix cheese and ham together in a small bowl, then set aside.
  6. To assemble the pizza empanadas, add a spoonful of the ham and cheese mixture into the center of each disc. Top with 2 halves of a cherry tomato, a sprinkling of oregano, and salt, to taste.
  7. Brush on the egg whites, applying to the edges of the pizza discs. Do not use water for this – the egg whites proved a better seal.
  8. Fold the discs up together and seal the edges carefully with your fingers. Lay the stuffed discs on one side and, using a fork, crimp the edges together for an even better seal, and also to create an attractive pattern.
  9. Now brush the top of the pizza empanadas lightly with the egg yolk (thin the yolk with 1/2 teaspoon of water).
  10. Place the pizza empanadas in a deep baking tray or baking dish in a single layer. Cover with aluminum foil, being careful that the foil does not touch the empanadas.
  11. Place the pizza empanadas in the fridge for about half an hour.
  12. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  13. When the oven is at full temperature, bake the empanadas until golden – about 15 – 20 minutes should do it.
  14. Serve pizza empanadas warm by themselves or with a dipping sauce. Brazilians typically like a chimichurri sauce.