Sunday, April 15, 2012

Brazilian Miniature Savory Pies (Empadinhas)

It’s been another crazy week, starting with me getting really sick and ending with my eldest suffering a fractured ankle. But, as they say, if you have time to whine then you have the time to do something about it.  So I decided to say Alhamdulillah and make some empadinhas!

I am truly thankful for my wonderful children, for my wonderful parents, husband, family, friends and you that come here to check my recipes.

Empadinhas is another Brazilian savory snack, and what makes them so special is the very delicate dough that crumbles in your mouth at first bite.

You can fill your empadinhas with any filling you like. Here is a recipe for shrimp filling but you could use a hearts of palm or even chicken, like you would in a chicken pot pie. 

Empadinha de CamarĂ£o - Shrimp Mini Pies

Makes about 24 2-inch tartlet pans

For the dough I will give the approximate equivalent in cups and spoons but I would recommend using a scale for perfecting the dough. If you follow the approximate measurement in cups and spoons be prepared to adjust recipe to obtain a good dough.

500g all purpose flour (about 3 cups)
250g vegetable shortening (about 1 ½ cup + 2 Tbsp)
150 ml Ginger Ale
About ½ Tbsp salt

1 egg yolk + Olive oil for coating the pie (optional use only olive oil for making it completely egg free)

In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients with the exception of egg yolk and olive oil . Knead the dough briefly until smooth and no longer sticking to the hands.

1 lb peeled small shrimp
1 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 cup green peas  (I used corn this time as I was out of peas)
Parsley, finely chopped
1 cup pitted Spanish green olives
Salt and Pepper to taste
About 3 Tbsp flour dissolved in ½ cup milk

Sautee onion until it starts to soften. Add tomatoes and cook some more until it softens. Mix in peas, parsley, salt and pepper and let cook some more. Add shrimp, mix and let cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, stir in the flour dissolved in milk, and let cook stirringly constantly for a few minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature completely before assembling empadinhas.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Take a little bit of dough, place it in an empadinha pan (or mini muffin or tartlet pan), and press very thinly to cover the inside (thick enough to cover but not so thin that the pan shows through). Leave a bit falling on the sides to press against the top after you have filled the mini pies. Remember you will need to leave enough dough to top the empadinhas.

Place enough filling to fill each mini pie.

Again, take a bit of dough at a time and roll in your hand to make a small ball. Then press down using your hand and thumbs to create a thin topping for each mini pie. Press on top of filled pan making sure to get a good seal between the bottom and top layer of dough. Cut off any excess dough from the sides.
Beat egg yolk with olive oil and brush on the surface of the pie with a pastry brush. If you would like to make it egg free, brush with only olive oil.

Place mini pies on a baking sheet and bake until tops are lightly golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Turn each pan upside down, and the empadinha should fall into your hands in one piece. Turn right side up, and serve.


  1. I cannot find where to contact you, but I really do enjoy your recipes.
    I was wondering if you know of a brazilian dessert recipe made with lady fingers, condensed milk, canned pineapple and shredded coconut. After a lot of googleing I think it is called Cassata de abacaxi, it is sort of like a tiramisu style dessert.

    1. Salaam Yasmine, you can contact me here or by email at
      In Brazil we make a lot of "paves" using lady fingers (biscoitos champagne) or Maria biscuit, pastry cream and usually fruits. I have never done the one you are asking but found a recipe. Let me know how it turns out:

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. These look so yummy, I can't wait to try them!

    M.A x


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