Not to be confused with Empanadas.
These gorgeous little pies are a Portuguese favourite with delicious buttery pastry and a savoury filling of tuna, onions, olives and a bit of cayenne. After a long lag I continue baking my way through one of my favourite baking books A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent.
I made a few substitutions but the flavour of these pies was amazing. Serve for lunch with a salad or as Greg suggests cut into four to serve as an appetiser. Either way these pies are yum!
adapted from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped pimento stuffed olives
2 x 185g tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup canned tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 chicken stock cube
3 tablespoons plain flour
5 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper to season
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and saute until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the parsley, olives and tuna. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes. Mix in the cayenne, tomato puree and tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two then crumble in the stock cube. In a small bowl mix the milk and flour. Add this mixture to the tuna and stir, cooking until the mixture boils and thickens. Taste and season if necessary. Remove from heat and cool completely.
3 1/2 cups plain flour, plus more for kneading
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
250g butter, cold and chopped
3 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
olive oil to coat muffin cups
2 tablespoon milk
24 Kalamata olives or stuffed green olives
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like crumbs. Add the eggs bit by bit, tossing with a fork.
The mixture will look ragged and clumpy. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together. If you need add a few drops of water to bring the mixture together. Flour the work surface, scrape the dough onto it and turn to coat with flour. Shape into a log. Using the heal of your hand begin to smear portions of the dough away from you. When it's all been smeared (this mixes the butter and flour) gather up and form into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 180C and brush the muffin cups with oil. Divide the dough into 24 portions. Roll out to about a 10 cm circle. The finished pastry should extend a little above the muffin cup. Press the dough into the muffin cups.
Put a good spoonful of filling into each pie shell and carefully pull in the edges to cover the filling. Place an olive in the middle. Brush with milk.
Don't these pies look so cute!
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.