This empanada molder, the largest in a set of three, has been sitting in a kitchen drawer since we bought this house in 2008. Before that, all three empanada molders sat on a shelf in a kitchen cabinet in our old house all through the seven plus years that we lived there. I’ve used them once and decided it was easier to make empanadas without them. For some reason though, I didn’t throw them away.
A couple of months ago, there was a food show that featured a diner that specializes in pierogi — Polish dumplings that look like empanadas but are really different from empanadas. The cook in that diner used an empanada maker to prepare the pierogi and how she used the empanada molder was shown in detail.
That was when I realized that the only time I used my empanada molders and decided they were a dud, I actually used them the wrong way. Having learned my mistake, I brought out the empanada molders from their hiding place, washed them, dried them and used them.
So, prepare the empanada dough and roll it out to less than a quater of an inch thick. Use the bottom of the empanada maker to cut out circles. Just press down, twist a little and voila! Naturally, these circles will fit perfectly in the empanada molder.
Lift out a circle of dough and place on the empanada molder. Spoon the filling at the center.
This is the part where I did it wrong in the past. Because I had been so used to making empanada with no tools, I’d lay the dough flat, place the filling on one side, fold over the empty half of the dough over the half with the filling and press and crimp the edges together. I did the same thing with the empanada molder — I tried to fold over half of the dough over the other and made a mess. So, so wrong.
The right way is shown in the photo above. Holding the left and right handles of the empanada molder, lift them at the same time to close the empanada molder and to seal the empanada.
And you have a perfectly formed empanada.
So, there are definite advantages to the empanada molder? Oh, yes. It is so much easier to pack in more filling without struggling with the sealing process. For that reason alone, I’d say the empanada molder is worth using.
Where did I buy my set of empanada molders? I’ve forgotten. It’s so long ago. But I still see them around especially in stores that sell those “as seen on TV” stuff.