And speaking of puff pastry… here is one of my favorite things to do with it, empanadas. Emapanadas are essentially stuffed pastries, but there are many variations of empanadas depending on the region of the world you eat them. Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and mostly every Latin American country have their own version of empanadas. Even in Mexico we have different versions of them.
The difficult part of the empanadas my mom taught me to make is the puff pastry. Once you have your pastry ready you can stuff them with whatever you want. Here I will give you two recipes that I use for pineapple and pumpkin empanadas.
Pineapple and pumpkin empanadas
- 1 28oz can pineapple, crushed or tidbits
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 TBSP cornstarch
- 3 TBSP water
- Drain pineapple and boil with sugar and cinnamon over medium heat for 30-40 minutes in a medium size pot. Stir constantly.
- If the pineapple is watery, mix cornstarch and water separately and add to the boiling mixture. Do not add undiluted cornstarch to the mixture since it will form clumps.
- Refrigerate before using.
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- ½ can condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup cajeta or brown sugar
- Cook all ingredients for about 25 minutes in a medium size pot.
- If the mixture is watery add some diluted cornstarch. Refrigerate before using.
- 1lb puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- With a rolling pin extend the puff pastry until you get a thin sheet. It is easier to work with puff pastry when it is cool.
- Using a round large cookie cutter or plastic container, cut puff pastry circles.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
- Using a pastry brush apply some egg around the edge of the circle and then put some of the filling in the middle.
- Fold the circle and press the edges.
- With a fork press the edges to completely seal them.
- Apply more egg on top for coloring and sprinkle some sugar on top.
- Line empanadas on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges start turning golden brown.
- Let them cool on baking racks before eating or storing them and enjoy!
This are only two of the empanada fillings I use. The great thing about puff pastry is that you can use it for savory or sweet dishes. Just check the entries on the first Food for Plastic Challenge to see what the contestants came up with.