Tag Archives: baking powder

Venison Empanadas

This recipe makes eight large empanadas—I’m freezing four for later—but you could easily make smaller, snack-sized empanadas. I used half venison and half ground beef in the filling, but you could substitute any other ground meat combination, or even a filling with no meat. Because you need a cool filling, you should make it early in the day or the day before, so it has time to cool before filling the dough—this also cuts down on the commotion of rolling and filling dough at dinnertime.

For the dough, I’m using the one from Martha Stewart’s “Basic Empanadas” recipe. I recommend this simple dough, which is buttery and tender and easy to handle, considering all the rolling and shaping you need to do. I recommend watching the video on the page, especially if you haven’t made this sort of a hand pie before. The one thing I did differently was to use the food processor instead of mixing by hand—even with that, the dough remained tender. I felt, though, that I had to add way more than the one cup of cold water in the recipe for the dough to come together, maybe as much as an extra half cup. The video tip to let the dough rest before rolling seemed like a good idea, keeping the dough from trying to shrink as you roll it. Here are the simple ingredients for that dough (follow instruction on the site):

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup cold water
  • egg wash for sealing and for brushing on tops


Venison Empanada Filling

  • Servings: enough for 8 large servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 2-3 roasted red peppers, diced
  • about 6 canned plum tomatoes, diced, plus enough of the juice (maybe 1/2 cup) to moisten the meat
  • Spices:
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed or ground dried juniper berries
    • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
    • 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cilantro
  1. Brown the venison and beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Use oil if you think you need it, but the beef should provide plenty of fat. Remove any excess fat, so the final mixture is not greasy.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they begin to soften.
  3. Stir in spices, red peppers, and tomatoes. Bring to a low boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Remove to a large low dish, like a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. If you think the mixture is too wet, remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Most of my liquid cooked off.
  4. Cool the filling, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to fill the empanadas.

Baking: The filled empanadas bake for 30 minutes at 400° on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Frozen ones will take about 40 minutes and do not need to be thawed first.

Plum Cake Cockaigne

Here’s another often-used recipe from my old Joy of Cooking, that makes use of whatever summer fruit is ripe. It’s sweet and moist, but light enough for a summer dessert. I guess you could add ice cream or whipped cream, but I like the pastry as is. It’s a kind of upside down cobbler with a cakier dough, where you push sliced fruit into the batter, then sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar topping to bake. If your fruit is ripe and juicy, the cake takes on the color of the juice, so today’s is a lovely purple. My husband will be less than thrilled about the cinnamon, but whipped cream will help him get over that.

I could have sworn I took a photo of the sliced plums, but my phone says otherwise.

Plum Cake Cockaigne

  • Servings: makes one 9 inch square dish
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 425°

4-5 ripe black plums or your favorite stone fruit, sliced—you may want to pare some fruits, like apples or even peaches

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

milk to make 1/2 cup of liquids

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Cut butter into dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk egg and vanilla in measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1/2 cup of liquid.
  3. Stir into dry ingredients and butter to make a stiff dough.
  4. Spread the dough in a 9″ square baking dish. You do not need to butter the dish.
  5. Press fruit slices into dough in any pattern, covering all the dough.
  6. Sprinkle mixture of 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter over fruit.
  7. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes until fruit juices are bubbling.
  8. Serve warm or cold (but better warm) alone or with whipped cream.

I think this would be good with dark cherries, but I wouldn’t want to do the pitting.