That perfect combination of peaches and cream is made better when fried in a crispy empanada.
8 to 10
1 1/2 pounds (about 5) medium ripe yellow peaches
Ice, to shock the peaches
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 1/2 a small orange (about 1 tablespoon juice)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
4 whole allspice berries
Pinch of nutmeg
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 packaged rolled pie crusts
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Water, for the dough
Vegetable oil, for frying
Fill a 3-quart pot about two-thirds full of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water begins to boil, score the bottom of each peach with an 'X' using a paring knife. Drop the peaches in the water, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the skins begin to peel away at the incision. Transfer to an ice bath, and let them sit in the water until cool enough to touch. Peel the peaches, and discard the skins. Roughly chop the peaches.
Drop the peaches into a 2-quart pot along with the sugar, orange zest and juice, grated ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, approximately 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Discard the whole spices.
While the peach mixture cooks, use a handheld mixer to whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
Lightly dust flour over a clean, flat surface, and unroll one pie crust. Lightly roll out the dough until it's just big enough to cut out four circles using a 5 1/4-inch cutter. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Drop a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto half of each piece of dough, followed by a heaping tablespoon of the cooked peaches. Using your finger, wet the edge of half of the dough, and fold over to form the empanada. Crimp with a fork, or close with your fingers. Form all of the empanadas, and place on a tray. Refrigerate until ready to fry.
Fill a wide stock pot or Dutch oven about halfway up with vegetable oil and heat to 360°F. Fry the empanadas in batches for about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.
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