• Prep Time
    10 Mins
  • Cook Time
    0 Mins
  • Total Time
    10 Mins
  • The base number of servings for this recipe is 30

    Sweet Potato Turnovers (Empanadas de Camote)

    Latin America has plenty of recipes for empanadas, both sweet and savory. In my neck of the woods, empanadas are always sweet, usually filled with pumpkin puree, pineapple jam and occasionally dulce de leche, which we call cajeta. Living in remote ranch country, our empanada fillings are based on what we have stored in the pantry.

    The crust in the recipe (which happens to be one of our most pinned recipes ever on Pinterest!) is an old-fashioned vinegar and egg crust. The vinegar prevents the development of the wheat gluten in the flour, which can make the crust tough. The protein in the egg keeps the crust tender as well. Be warned that you might see a few pickled strands of egg in your dough, but they won’t hurt the flavor or texture of your empanada. Back in the day, if you were the not-so-skilled home baker, this recipe would guarantee a tender result. The pickled egg strands are a tradeoff. Also, take some help where you can get it: a handy empanada press makes quick work of it all. 


    For the Dough
    1 3/4
    egg, well beaten
    water, ice cold mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar (white or apple cider)
    For the Filling
    1 1/2
    sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks
    sugar, to taste
    For the dough: Place the flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.
    Using a pastry cutter (or two knives) cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture is the texture of large crumbs.
    Add the egg and then stir until well combined.
    Add the water and vinegar mixture, and stir until the dough gathers into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
    For the filling: Place the sweet potato chunks in a 6 quarts stock pot. Add the cinnamon sticks, fill with water and then bring to a boil.
    Cook the sweet potatoes for about 25 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
    Drain the water from the pot and allow the sweet potatoes to cool completely. Discard the cinnamon sticks.
    Once cool, peel the sweet potatoes and puree with an electric hand mixer, adding sugar to taste.
    To make the empanadas: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into 30 equal portions and roll into balls.
    Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin flatten each ball. For easier rolling or pressing of your empanada dough, cut two circles of plastic from a plastic zipper storage bag, and roll or press the dough between them. This dough can be a bit sticky, so using plastic sheeting helps.
    Fill each flattened ball with 1 tablespoon of sweet potato filling.
    Pinch the edges of the empanada together to form a half circle and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
    When all of the empanadas are formed, crimp the sealed edge with a fork. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve.

    The base number of servings for this recipe is 30

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