Pork, Caper and Pine Nut Empanadas


Perfect finger food – a lightly spiced pork mince filling encased in melt-in-the-mouth pastry. It’s hard to stop at just one of these gorgeous little morsels.

DOUGH 1¾ cups plain flour

½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon caster sugar

75 grams vegetable shortening (e.g., Kremelta)

90 grams butter, chopped ¼ cup chilled water

FILLING 2 tablespoon­s olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander and chilli flakes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon tomato paste 250 grams pork mince

1 cup tinned crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoon­s capers, well drained

¼ cup currants

3 tablespoon­s pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

sea salt and ground pepper


½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

EQUIPMENT: Grease and line a flat baking tray.

DOUGH: Pulse the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add the shortening and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumb­s. Add the iced water and process until the dough just comes together, adding a little more water if needed. Tip onto the bench and form into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll out one piece on a lightly floured surface and cut out 12 x 10cm circles. Repeat with the second piece of dough. The scraps can be brought back together and re-rolled. Place on the tray, cover and refrigerat­e until ready to use.

FILLING: Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add all the spices and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the mince and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes, capers, currants and pine nuts and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes until the mixture is quite dry. Season well and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

TO ASSEMBLE: Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the centre of each pastry circle and place 1 teaspoon of mozzarella on top. Brush the edges with egg. Fold to form a half moon and press the edges together then use a fork to tightly seal. Place on the baking sheet and brush with egg. Cook for 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve hot or warm. MAKES 24

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