We are baking apple empanadas!
Why cook with kids?
Cooking with kids is a marvelous learning experiences. We are modeling literacy in action as we read the recipe and make a grocery list. We model math when we measure and count cups and teaspoons. It is wonderful for fine motor skills when we chop, spoon, stir, and pour. It is science in action because we create a mixture, bake or cook it, and it transforms into a different product. There are lessons and learning from the ingredients. For example: How do apples grow? Where does honey come from? It is also an opportunity for language and vocabulary development as we talk about the process and engage in conversation. Plus, we are connecting and making memories with our kids. So we begin…on to our apple empanadas.
Our weather has been gray and bitterly cold, today we are stuck inside because of a layer of ice on the roads. We need some comfort and we have the ingredients for apple empanadas.
The recipe is in a printable below.
I found two large beautiful fuji apples in the fridge. After peeling and chopping them, there were 4 cups of chopped apple. Isn’t it lovely?
Mix together 2 tbs. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg , 1 tbps. flour and stir this mixture with the apples into a sauce pan and add 1/4 cup of water and 2 heaping tbsp. of honey. We had orange honey from sunny Florida and it is delicious! Please let your kids scoup, pour and stir. You know your kiddos and abilities, they can help accordingly. Letting them help teaches them so much and builds their confidence!
Cook this mixture on meduim heat and stir frequently until the apples are just tender (a job for grown-ups). Stirring frequently is important because it will scorch easily. If it seems dry and sticks to the bottom, add a tablespoon or two of water. Set the apple filling to the side to cool.
I made a pastry dough from my grandmothers recipe because that was what was on-hand. But you can use a frozen pizza dough or pre-made pastry. You could probably even use a roll of sugar cookie dough. You don’t have to make a pastry crust.
Grandma Shireman’s Pastry Recipe:
Ingredients: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of crisco, 1/2 ice water and 1 tsp of salt.
Mix the flour and salt together, and cut in the crisco and mix until it looks like peas. Add the ice water and mix just until a ball forms, chill for 30 minutes. We rolled it, placed a bowl on top of it for a circle pattern then ran a knife around the edge to make a circle. You can make your circles any size but they need to be big enough to hold the apple filling and have crimped edges.
They are a wonderful tasty snack that packs and travels well; plus it can be eaten with fingers. This recipe is not very sweet, but you can easily increase the sweetness by adding another tablespoon or two of honey or brown sugar. Have fun baking together!
- 4 cups of chopped apples
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 tbs flour
- 1 pastry crust of your choice. Other options: frozen pizza dough, crecent rolls, sugar cookie dough
- Peel and chop the apples.
- Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour
- Stir this mixture with the apples into a sauce pan
- Add ¼ cup of water and 2 heaping tbsp of honey and stir
- Cook this on meduim heat and stir frequently until the apples are just tender
- Stirring frequently is important because this mixture will scorch easily. You may need to add a bit more water if it seems dry and sticks to the bottom. Set the apple mixture to the side to cool.
- Roll and cut your pastry crust into circles
- Spoon on your apple mixture on to one side of the circle.
- Brush an egg wash around the edges
- Fold over and crip the edge with a fork
- Brush the top with the egg wash
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
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