Homemade Ensemada

My mom made these the other night.  They’re a type of Filipino pastry called an ensemada.  Mom started making them when I began college back in 1994.  She worked really hard in making the pastries every morning and would sell them to customers just so that she could get some extra money  to pay for my airline tickets back home for holidays.  Talk about sacrifice!

She got the recipe from her brother-in-law, Uncle Tony (God bless his soul!) who was married to her sister, my Aunt Esther (God bless her soul as well).  My mom was very lucky to have been given this wonderful recipe that was kept with Uncle Tony’s family for years, because this ensemada is like no ordinary ensemada that you would find in just any bakery.  This one is light, not overly saturated in sugar and butter, and melts in your mouth, especially when it comes straight from the oven!

Here’s what she does:

Mom prepares the dough very carefully, then arranges them in loose coils on a cookie sheet.  Once the entire cookie sheet is covered with doughy ensemada coils, she covers them up with a clean towel and gives them time to rise.  When she feels that the dough has risen enough, she places them in the oven for about seven (7) minutes.

The sweet smell of baked bread fills the air as mom takes the sheet out of the oven.  The ensemada bakes to a golden brown color and are then brushed with a thin coat of melted butter to give them a shiny glaze.  Next comes a sprinkle of sugar and toppings of sharp cheddar cheese.  There’s something about the mix of butter, sugar, and cheese that makes these ensemadas so irresistible.

Mom makes great ensemadas, but I do believe that the one ingredient that makes them so wonderful and so special is that she puts in a lot of love into her work.  It’s what brought me home for the holidays!

Today, mom doesn’t need to bake ensemadas so that she can sell them to customers.  She simply bakes them when she’s in the mood. Consider yourself super lucky if she shows up on your doorstep with a dozen of them, piping hot and ready to eat!


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