An empanada is a stuffed pastry turnover of Spanish origin, which takes on many different forms in bake shops around the world, from Portugal to the Philippines. Taiwanese bakeries such as Yi Mei sell both savory and sweet versions of the empanada.
When I created this recipe, I wanted to make a sweet, filling dessert turnover that could be prepared quickly. To give the pastry a light, flaky consistency, I used a package of Indo-European puff pastry, rather than create regular pastry dough from scratch.
Ingredients for filling:
- 4 ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 4 Tbsp. margarine or butter
- 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. corn starch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
Ingredients for pastry shell:
- 1 package of puff pastry squares (5″ x 5″- usually sold in packages of 10 pieces each)
- Heat margarine or butter over medium heat in a wok or frying pan. Stir in sliced bananas and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and lemon juice, then cook for another 3 to 4 minutes over low heat until the texture becomes slightly creamy. Add the corn starch, dissolved in water, to the mixture. Once the filling is creamy with chunks of banana, turn off the heat.
- Defrost the puff pastry and place the dough squares on a smooth surface or on wax paper. Put 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of each square and fold in half diagonally to make a triangle. Use a fork to press the edges firmly closed and to also make a decorative pattern. Arrange the turnovers 2 inches apart on a cooking sheet or in a baking pan lined with foil.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the turnovers with an egg wash, consisting half of water and half of eggs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
The batter for the pastry filling looks lumpy. Does it need to be mixed more?
The pastry filling should be creamy, but it may also be lumpy because of the banana. This is what the filling should look like when it’s ready.
How do I know when the pastries are ready to be taken out of the oven?
A well-cooked puff pastry is brown, dry and flaky. The turnovers will be ready when the puff pastry is ready. Here is a picture of the type of puff pastry I used in this recipe, as well as a picture of fresh turnovers out of the oven.