Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts)


My father-in-law loves Indian sweets, so we make gajar halwa (carrot Indian sweets) very often at home. There was still leftover by the end of the day, and you know my motto: ”waste not, want not!”. I’ve made a carrot cheesecake recently using halwa. This time, I was inspired by the pistachio galettes des Rois I made earlier this year. I addded ground pistachios and kewra to keep the Indian-themed ingredients and folded the halwa mixture as if I was making a tarte amandine, using a different type of nut cream. I finally wrapped the carrot cream in puff pastry, empanada-style and  can be served with powdered sugar or drizzled with kewra syrup.

These little puff pastries pair perfectly with hot mint tea. Next time you have friends over for tea, this is the perfect treats that are both so unique and reminiscent of oriental sweets. Enjoy!

Set of dough presses.

1. Info for Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts)

  • Cook Time: unavailable
  • Total Time: unavailable
  • Servings: 12
  • Calories: unavailable

2. Ingredients for Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts)

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, soften to room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kewra (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-½ cups carrot halwa, tightly packed
  • 12 (5 x 5-inch) rounds puff pastry dough (store-bought)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

3. Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a cutting board with plastic-wrap. Place all the pistachios onto the cutting board. Cover them with another layer of plastic wrap. Slightly crush the nuts using a meat tenderizer mallet. Transfer them to a blender, a food processor or spice grinder. Make sure you stop before it turns into nut butter. I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container (you could also grind the pistachios manually using a mortar and pestle). The result should be a fine mill.
  3. Using a handheld mixer, whisk 1 egg yolk with ¼ cup sugar until it’s pale, yellow. It will take about 5-6 minutes. The consistency must be very airy. Add kewra if you’re using it. Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter with another 3 tablespoons of sugar. Pour in the egg mixture. Add the pistachio mill. and the carrot halwa. Mix until the batter is smooth. Add salt.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg white and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat for another 30 seconds. Using a silicone spatula, mix 1/3 of the whipped egg whites with the halwa mixture to soften it. Add the rest of the whipped egg whites and gently fold in the creamy mixture to get an airy batter.
  6. Using a fork, beat the remaining egg yolk with a tablespoon of milk.
  7. Place a puff pastry dish in a 3-¼”-diameter empanada maker. Spoon about 2 teaspoons halwa in the center of each disk. Fold and seal the puff pastry by firmly pressing on the empanada maker (You can also manually fold the pastry dough and create the folds with your thumb around the pistachio cream to ensure the empanada is sealed well). Create 12 empanadas. Reserve the puff pastry remnants for appetizers (see tips)!
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper. Place the smaller-sized puff pastries onto the baking sheets. Gently prick the dough with a fork. Lightly brush the top with egg wash.
  9. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes prior to baking.
  10. Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is golden.
  11. Allow the sweet pastries to cool for a few minutes before eating. Dust with powdered sugar.
  12. Bon appétit!

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