Apple Pecan Dulce De Leche Empanadas


Apple Pecan Dulce De Leche Empanadas

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Course Dessert
Servings 12 people



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water or milk, adjust as needed to obtain a soft and smooth dough


  • 2 Granny Smith apples peeled and finely diced
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces*
  • 1 (13.4 oz) can of Dulce de Leche
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour


  • 1 egg + 1 tsp water beaten for egg wash
  • raw sugar for garnish


To make the dough:

  • Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
  • Add the butter and pulse.
  • Add the egg and the water or milk (in small increments) and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms. {{{To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together.}}}
  • Split the dough into 2 large balls, flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).
  • Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate). You can also make small individual balls with the dough and roll out each individual ball to a round shape (doesn't need to be perfectly round) - if you have a tortilla press you can use it to flatten the dough balls.
  • Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.

To make the filling:

  • While dough is resting… in a bowl, combine the apples, pecans, ½ the can of dulce de leche, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and pinch of salt. Mix well.

To assemble the empanadas:

  • Place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of each empanada disc. The amount of filling will vary based on the size of the empanada, but in general, it’s easier to seal an empanada that isn’t overstuffed. Also, the more you make empanadas, the easier it becomes to stuff them to the max and still seal them properly.
  • To seal the empanadas, fold the disc and seal the edges by pressing the dough with your fingers. If you’re having a hard time sealing the edges, you can use brush the inside edges with egg white, it will act as a glue for the empanadas. You can also use a fork to help seal the edges, just press the top of the fork against the edges. To make the repulgue or churito, the curl type seal, use your fingers to twist the curl the edges. There are also empanada molds that you can buy and will help seal the empanadas.
  • For best results, chill the assembled empanadas for at least 30 minutes before  baking – this also helps them seal better and prevents the filling from leaking out.
  • Brush with egg wash and top with a sprinkle of raw sugar.
  • Bake the empanadas at 400 degrees, for 18-25 minutes – the empanadas will be ready once they are golden brown and firm.
  • SERVE WARM with the remaining Dulce de Leche on the side for dipping.


*toast pecans in a dry skillet over medium high heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
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