Friday, August 19, 2011

Apple Pear Empanadas (Vegan!)

My good friend Jose requested a Latino dish. Here is my modest attempt!

I don't think pears are a commonly used fruit in empanada-making... but we had some in our house that were extremely ripe, and they made a lovely addition.

As my brother and I began to form the actual empanadas, my siblings' babysitter, Fali, who is from Central America, came over and laughed at our horrible technique. Fortunately, she shared with us the authentic proper way of making empanadas, so I have shared her technique in the recipe. It made the process so much easier!!

I accidentally slightly burnt these empanadas, as I left my brother in charge to tell me when the oven beeped... and he forgot. Moral of the story: if you are cooking, you are responsible for your own food, and you need to keep watch over it. (At least our empanadas were still delicious!)

(Also, sorry for the return of my poor photo quality... the guest photos in my previous recipe really put me to shame!! But I'm trying out new photo techniques, so...)

***Use these measurements to make a dish with 20 servings***

  • 4½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of (vegan) butter/shortening
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

  • 3 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder thoroughly.
  2. Add the butter in spoonfulls and mix in well until integrated wholly into dough.
  3. Pour the water and apple cider vinegar into the dough and mix well. This should make the dough a stiff and firm lump. You can add extra water in increments of teaspoons if your dough is not firm enough.
  4. Knead the dough into a round, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour to chill. 
  5. While dough is chilling, cut apples and pears into slices or chunks; it's up to you... just don't mush them. Mix together.
  6. Drizzle the fruit with agave nectar and mix thoroughly.
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar, salt, and flour on the mixture. Mix and let set.
  8. After your dough has chilled for an hour, remove it and roll it out.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  10. Grease a few pans (we used 4) with nonstick spray or vegan shortening.
  11. Lay out a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Coat with nonstick spray/shortening. Also, coat your hands lightly with nonstick spray/shortening. 
  12. Pinch off a small piece of dough and roll into a ball.
  13. Fold wax paper over and use rolling pin (or your hand's pressure) to flatten into a circle. Ours were about 5 inches circumference.
  14. Put about 1½ teaspoons of fruit filling onto center of the dough circle. 
  15. Fold the dough circle over in a semicircle shape and press down the edges with a fork to seal shut. Also, make a small slit in the top of the empanada.
  16. Transfer empanada from wax paper to greased baking pan.
  17. Repeat this process until all dough and filling is used.
  18. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until empanadas are golden and crusty.

The finished dough, before entering the fridge. Sorry, I forgot to take photos of the process for this.

The cut up apples and pears. We didn't want apple skin, but we did want pear skin... so we skinned the apples.

The filling in all of its glory.

Small dough ball.

Flatten ball into circle under wax paper.

Fruit in the center of the dough circle.

Folded over and fork-pressed edges. 

1 of our 4 pans of empanadas before entering the oven... as you can see, we still have a long way to go with our technique.

The finished (and slightly burnt) delicious empanadas!

Look at that gooey filling!

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Did you try this recipe out?
Please let me know in the comments! 


  1. wow, this looks fantastic! i've never seen a vegan empanada though before!

  2. Must lick screen now! LOL!

    Those empanadas look fantastic...