Empanadas de Cerveza – Beer Dough Empanadas

Grabbing a round aluminum tray, a pair of tongs and carefully selecting from the sugar topped, soft and flaky pastries on display is one of the great joys of visiting a Mexican pastry shop. Picking an empanada, thinking it is filled with pineapple, only to later realize it is pumpkin or apple, is one of the great disappointments of visiting said Mexican pastry shop.

If there is one blessing in living in upstate New York, it is that I am spared such a horror. There are no Mexican bakeries.

Though called empanada de cerveza, only a small amount of beer is needed for the dough. Scaling the recipe up, in order to use a full 12 ounce can of beer, results in enough empanadas for everyone you know. Best to keep it small. This recipe utilizes a full batch of mermelada de piña (pineapple marmalade).

Use a lager style beer, as the carbonation is part of the leavening for the pastry. Tecate is my beer of choice for this, but any lager will do.

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • For the dough:
  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 125 g (2/3 c) lard, cubed and chilled
  • 3 fl oz lager style beer
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp milk

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the lard, cutting into the dry mixture until a dry and crumbly mixture is achieved. Make a small well in the center, and add the beer. Mix until just combined, and the dough holds together when squeezed. Wrap well in plastic, and allow to rest, refrigerated, for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 even portions. Roll each portion into a smooth ball, and working with a rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface, roll into approximately a 5″ circle.

Stuff with a thick, fairly dry and cool marmalade, such as pineapple, fold and seal. Get fancy with a rope edge if you  must. Whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush all exposed edges of the empanadas well with the egg wash.

Bake at 350ºF on a parchment paper lined tray for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

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