Friday, December 3, 2010


I'd like to give you a little history about these delights.  Back in the mid-90's my family and I took a wonderful vacation to the Great Lakes (and beyond).  While we were in Wisconsin, we saw many shops selling little pastry looking things they called a "Pasty".  We ate some while we were there, and were impressed.  So, after we got home our Mom would make pasties for us.

My Mom and I were just talking about these this week, so I had to make some!  We both looked up the history of the pasty and it's so interesting.  The pasty was invented before sandwiches.  The pasty most likely originated in Cornwall, where it was made for lunches for miners.  Since miners were unable to come up to the surface to eat lunch they needed something that was easily portable.  It is rumored that the miners, dirty from head to toe, would hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat it without touching the rest, throwing away the dirty crust.  Then the pastry that had been thrown away was to "appease the knockers, or capricious spirits in the mines who might otherwise lead miners into danger."  Farmers and laborers also enjoyed pasties for their portability.

So since I used cooked ingredients inside the pastry, I'm calling this recipe empanadas though.  Either way, these homemade hot pockets are yummy and fully customizable!  :)


3 Potatoes, cooked and diced
2 Carrots, cooked and diced
1.5 c. Chicken Breast, cooked and diced
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper

Crust:  (You can use store-bought or this recipe, this is a lower fat recipe.)
2 c. Flour
2 T. Shortening
1/4 t. Salt
Cold Water

1.  In a large bowl mix together the filling ingredients.
2.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, shortening and salt.
3.  Add cold water by the tablespoon until the pastry dough becomes workable.  I added about 10 T. of water.  You don't want it too sticky or too stiff.
4.  Grab a small section of the pasty dough and roll it out on a floured surface.  If you like a thicker crust roll it about 1/4" thick, but if you like a thinner one (like me) roll it to about 1/8" thick.  
 5.  Cut out a circle either free hand or using something to trace.  (I used the bottom of one of my cake pans that comes out, but you can easily use a bowl, pan, etc....)
 6.  Place the cut out pastry circle on a baking sheet and fill with the filling mixture. Like so...
 7.  Fold the pastry in half like so....
 8.  Now crimp the edges of the pastry.  You can either crimp with a fork, or roll and crimp like I did below.
 9.  Now, this is purely optional, but if you fill the empanadas with different things for different people in your family, or if you just want to be cute, you can add initials on the outside with raised dough like so...  :)
 10.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes!  
Enjoy!  :)

If you have extra pastry dough you can use it to make this rustic apple tart!  :)


  1. Looks delicious! I never thought of using chicken and your history lesson was fascinating. Thanks for sharing!!


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