Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dried Plum and Walnut Empanadas with Goat Cheese

"I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensate for my time."


     The California Dried Plum Board is challenging us Recipe Reduxers to develop a healthy and delicious recipe using dried plums. Dried plums are a great snack, but I'll admit I have never used them to cook with. But boy have I been missing out!  Dried plum are super versatile. They can be used as a substitute for fat and sugar in baked goods, added to salads, yogurt or cereal, and even made into sauces and marinade for a savory dish. The options are endless!
     Also, did you know dried plums help to support healthy bones?! Research shows that just one serving of dried plums (about 4 to 5 dried plums) may be effective in preventing bone loss in older, postmenopausal women. And even if your not postmenopausal or a women it can't hurt to get your daily dose of dried plums!

     With today being Cinco de Mayo, I decided to use the dried plums to make a mexican style sweet empanada. The filling is made with dried plums, walnuts, cinnamon and brown sugar. To compliment the sweetness of the plums I added some goat cheese, and oh boy do they work well together!! The filling is wrapped with my quick pastry dough made with only white whole wheat flour and vegetable oil! Super simple to make and a healthy alternative to regular pastry dough which is typically full of trans fats.


   
     After forming the empanadas, I baked them in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. They came out warm, flakey and delicious! These empanadas are like personal mini pies that are packed with nutrients and are actually good for you!




Dried Plum and Walnut Empanadas with Goat Cheese

Servings: 4 (makes about 12 Empanadas)

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons water
Filling
  • 1/2 cup dried plums
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roasted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
Directions

Pastry Dough
1. In a medium size bowl mix together flour and salt. They mix water and oil then add to flour until just combined.  Gather dough into two balls and knead each ball for about one minute. Then cover in plastric wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. While dough is chilling combine all filling ingredient except for goat cheese in a food processor until smooth.
Empanadas
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
4. Remove dough from the refrigerator.  With a floured rolling pin, roll out one dough ball into a 12 inch round about 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out rounds with 3 inch flour cookie cutter. (I used a glass that was about 3 inches in diameter) 
5. In the center spread about 1 teaspoon goat cheese, then top with about 2 teaspoons of dried plum and walnut mixture. Brush egg wash halfway around the edge, then fold dough over forming a half moon shape. Seal the edges with a fork then cut three slits in the top of pastry. Lastley, lightly brush egg wash over the top of the pastry.
6. Repeat for second dough ball.
7. Place pastries on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. 


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13 comments:

  1. wow that looks amazing!! I love the flavor combinations used here. Anything with goat cheese is a winner in my book!!

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  2. What a great idea. These look amazing and I love the addition of the goat cheese

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  3. happy Cinco DeMayo! These look yyummy. Great combo of goat cheese and plums

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    1. Thanks you too! They are the perfect pair :)

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  4. I don't think there's an empanada I've met that I didn't like, but I LOVE the unusual filling in this one!

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    1. Same! I think these may be my new favorite !

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  5. Yum- I bet the sweetness of the plums complements the tanginess of the goat cheese very nicely!

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  6. these are so creative - I wish I had a batch in front of me for lunch right now!

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  7. These look A-MAZ-ING! And the dried plum and goat cheese combo sound awesome!

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