Bursting with bold flavour in every bite, our hibiscus empanadas offer a unique twist on this classic appetiser.
For Empanada Dough
370g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, beaten
80g ice water
1 additional egg, beaten (egg wash only)
20g raw thick bacon, diced
65g brown onion, minced
275g butternut squash, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
75g queso fresco, diced
30g dried hibiscus flowers, chopped
60g adobo sauce from canned chipotle
1 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
Boil 2 cups of water. Add 30g of dried hibiscus flowers and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 2 hours.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until caramelized. Remove bacon. Discard all but 1 tbsp of bacon grease and add the onion to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook onion for 2 minutes until translucent.
Add butternut squash and poblano to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally so it browns on all sides.
Keep the steeping liquid to the side and add the hydrated and chopped hibiscus flowers, currants, salt, and pepper to the butternut squash. Mix to combine. Add adobo sauce and a generous drizzle of the hibiscus water. Mix to combine and remove from heat.
Once the mixture has cooled a bit, add crumbled queso and bacon. Set aside while you make the dough.
To prepare the dough, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a Stand Mixer fitted with a Pastry Beater. Turn on speed 1 for 10 seconds just to mix.
Add the cubed butter and mix on speed 2 for one minute.
In a small bowl, mix the egg and ice water. Add to the flour mixture. Mix on speed 2 until the liquid is incorporated into the dough (it will look sandy and/or shaggy), about 1 minute or less. If it looks too dry, you can add 1 additional tbsp (14g) of water.
Place a 60cm piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Dump the dough onto the surface and briefly knead into a ball. Flatten the dough into a rectangle.
Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Dust a surface and a rolling pin with flour. Take each ball and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into approximately 15cm rounds. Use more flour as needed for sticking.
Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Lay them on a parchment-lined sheet tray and cover tightly with plastic wrap while you work.
To assemble the empanadas, preheat the oven to 400°C.
Place approximately 2 heaped Tbsp. (40g) of filling in the center of each dough round. Fold the dough over and press gently to seal.
Press and crimp or use the tines of a fork to press and seal the empanada edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Brush empanadas with the beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.