Pear empanadas are a delicious and sweet twist on the traditional savory empanada. A popular dish in many Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries, empanadas consist of pastry dough folded around a filling, which can be sweet or savory. Pear empanadas typically feature a sweet pear filling and are often spiced with cinnamon and sugar.
Chilean pears are known for their high quality and excellent flavor. The country is one of the major exporters of pears, and its diverse climate and geography contribute to producing top-notch fruit. Some popular varieties of Chilean pears include Packham’s Triumph, D’Anjou, and Abate Fetel.
In Chile, some of the production is reserved for dried pears, a popular and nutritious snack resulting from removing the moisture content from fresh pears. The dehydration process concentrates the fruit’s flavors, natural sugars, and nutrients while extending its shelf life. This can be done through various methods, including sun drying (the traditional way), air drying, or using dehydrators.
Dehydrators are common in commercial production as they offer controlled temperature and airflow. Before drying, pears are usually peeled, cored, and sliced to facilitate the drying process. Dried pears have a chewy and somewhat leathery texture. Water removal concentrates the sugars, giving them a sweeter taste than fresh pears.
Seldom do I publish a recipe that brings me so many memories. Pear empanadas were my favorite snack as a girl. My grandmother used to buy them, and we ate them with tea in the afternoon when I came home from school. In the years I’ve been in the USA, I have thought of the empanadas often.
My husband laughs because I have a terrible memory of many things. I can see a movie a thousand times and have no idea what will happen at the end because I forget, but with flavors, it’s quite the opposite. I can evoke some dishes in my head like yesterday, and these empanadas are accurate. I feel like a girl again eating them. If someone grew up eating them, please make them. I have rarely felt such joy eating something.
You may also like the recipe: Chilean Alfajores.
for the filling,
for the dough,
- In a small saucepan, place the pears and mostly submerge them in boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Place over medium heat and add sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Grind the pears to a puree using a blender or food processor. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Cook until it boils softly and you can see the bottom of the pot when you stir.
- Allow cooling completely.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter, which should be chopped into small pieces, and work with two knives or the mixer’s paddle attachment until the mixture looks like coarse sand.
- Add eggs, sugar, milk, and pumpkin. Mix everything into a smooth dough.
- Beat the egg with one tablespoon of water until blended, 20 seconds.
- Divide the dough into two halves and place one half in the refrigerator. On a floured counter, roll the dough until it is about 2-3 mm thick. Cut circles 12 cm in diameter. Place a tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle. Wet the border with the egg wash, close, and make small indentations with a fork to seal. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Preheat oven to 350F or 180C. Place empanadas on a parchment paper-covered or a greased baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Use a fork to pierce each empanada.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until browned up and down.
- Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve cold.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Sweets
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Chilean
Keywords: pear empanadas, chilean cuisine
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