When I was in Perpignan a couple of months ago I went into a smart kitchenware shop and found a wonderful gadget I hadn’t seen before – a cutter for pastry that forms pasties or pies as well. Actually there were several in different sizes and I bought the whole set for my daughter who loves making ravioli, but I just had one medium-sized one for myself. I’ve used it once or twice to make Middle Eastern-inspired pies with feta cheese, onion and herbs and it worked well. Today, still in a Spanish mood after our recent holiday, I decided to make empanadillas. I sautéed sliced sweet onion and red peppers until they were soft then added chopped garlic, salt and pepper and some chopped anchovies. While the onions and peppers were cooking I made pastry by mixing 300 grams of flour, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of baking powder in a food processor, then adding 75 ml of olive oil and mixing again before finally adding about 75 ml of water (enough to turn the mixture into a manageable dough). These amounts made enough pastry for 12 empanadillas about 10 cm long.
I rolled out the pastry and then used this magic device to cut circles from it. You could use a large cup or bowl to do this.
I filled the pastry circles with spoonfuls of the pepper and anchovy mixture, one at a time, while they were in the plastic cutter and brushed a little water on to half of the edge of the pastry.
Then came the really magical bit – I brought the hinged halves together and squeezed them gently until the empanadillas were firmly closed.
I put the emapnadillas on a greased baking tin, brushed the tops with beaten egg and put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 200°C.
They can be eaten hot or cold, accompanied by a green salad or a tomato salad, and will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.