Toasted Fennel, Dried Plum and Bacon Open Empanadas

Old World Winery

850 River Rd
Fulton, CA 95439

This sweet and savory appetizer is perfect for bacon and cheese lovers. Just a touch of a wine reduction makes it distinctive.

Empanada Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup beef fat
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup water
To prepare the empanada dough, in a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beef fat and margarine and mix by hand until well incorporated. Slowly add the water and continue mixing until a ball forms, then knead the ball until smooth. Shape the dough into a log and let the dough rest in a plastic bag for 10 minutes. 

Cut the dough into 1/2-inch slices. Roll out each slice thinly and cut out rounds using a 3-inch round cutter. Using your fingers, pinch the dough around the outside of the round and pull to create a wall around the edges of the open empanada. Store the shells in a cool place until you are ready to fill them.

Empanada Filling and Baking

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces Gouda cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 12 dried plums, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Luminous wine reduction (recipe follows)
To prepare the empanada filling, in a small fry pan, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant. Let cool, then grind the fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Fill each empanada shell with 4 cubes of mozzarella and Gouda cheese and a pinch each of Parmesan and fennel. Top with the dried plums and bacon. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, drizzle with the Luminous wine reduction and serve.

Luminous Wine Reduction

  • 1/2 cup Luminous wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 orange rind, julienned
  • 1/4 orange, juiced
Pour the wine into a small saucepan and add the sugar, orange rind and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until reduced by half.

Old World Winery

850 River Rd
Fulton, CA 95439