The name of this empanada is Spanish-Quechua. Puka in Quechua means red and Capa in Spanish has two meanings: layer, cape. I think the name evolved because you have a nice round red layer that is the shape of a cape that covers the empanada, so it makes sense to called them Pukacapas.
We love our mid afternoon snacks and I love this pukacapa recipe because of the filling. I used to eat it with an helado de canela (cinnamon gelato) or a good juice made of dry peaches called Mokhochinchi.
Makes 15 units of Pukacapas
I will describe the process step by step on give the ingredients for each step
1 medium red onion shredded ( ⅓ cup shredded red onion)
8 oz Fresh cheese or Monterrey Jack
2 tbsp shredded hot pepper
1 tbsp chopped quilquiña or cilantro
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and put aside.
Sift the flower in a mixing bowl. Shape the flower in volcano shape. Heat the crisco close to boil. Add this hot oil to the flour, you will see how the flower effervesces. Mix with a wooden spoon.
Disolve the yeast in the water.
Add this mix to the flour along with the eggs yolks , salt and sugar. Mix until all the ingredients are well mixed in the dough. It’s very important to knead the dough forcefully on the table the dough for at least 5 min. (My Mom slams the dough down on the table, throwing it from up high for about 3 minutes). Make a nice ball and divide in 30 pieces.
Shape each piece in small balls and with a roller pin, flatten each piece until it’s the size of the cup,. If the dough is a little bit too sticky, add some flour to your surface working area.
After all of them are flat, add 1 tbs of the filling mix in the center of the 15 discs, making sure ther is a nice pile with no filling on the edges of the disc. Use another disc to cover and press well to seal the edges. After sealed, do a nice braid twist around the edges of the dough. If you don’t know out to braid the dough, you can use a fork to press the edges down.
Preheat the oven to 350F
Put the pukacapas on a baking sheet and using a brush, cover with the paprika and yolk mix.
Bake them for 15 min the bottoms look golden.