Here’s the perfect autumn appetizer that combines fresh apples with sweet caramelized onions and sharp and tangy cheese. They are inspired by a tart recipe from William Sonoma which I have taken and made into a hand held appetizer. These little pies are so tasty and easy to make and they can be served hot or at room temperature. They are definitely going to be a part of my pre-Thanksgiving dinner spread.
I prefer to use tart apples since I think they contrast nicely with the sweetness of the onions. If your apples aren’t tart enough add a few squeezes of lemon juice. I used Beemster Royal cheese that I picked up at the cheese market in Almaaker, Netherlands. It is sharp and flavorful and my new favorite cheese. If you can’t find it substitute your favorite sharp cheddar or Gouda cheese instead. The results will be just as good.
CARAMELIZED ONION & APPLE EMPANADAS
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, diced
2 tart apples, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (packed) shredded sharp cheese
1 egg white
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions to the skillet and immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and have become a light golden brown.
- Stir in the apples and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes.
- Season with the thyme and salt and mix well.
- Remove the onion – apple mixture from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts.
- Roll out each pie crust to a 1/4 inch thickness.
- Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter or juice glass, cut circles out of the dough. Continue re-rolling the dough until you have 20 rounds.
- Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the onion-apple mixture into the center of each circle. Fold the dough over to form a half moon and pinch the ends to close. The tines of a fork work well for this.
- Place the filled empanadas onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 2 inches of space between each one.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of water.
- Brush the egg wash over the top of each empanada.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the crusts are golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly before removing from the baking sheet.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
Yields: 20 2-inch empanadas