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Dec 27, 2011 05:57 PM

Puff pastry empanadas??

Many years ago I tried making empanadas from scratch. And quite frankly, they were awful. The crust was dry and crumbly and the filling was just weird. And they were an awful lot of work for something that ended up being not very good.

A couple of weeks ago I had chicken empanadas from the Ferry Building in San Francisco and I'm still thinking about how delicious they were. The crust was wonderfuly flaky and not dry at all. Since I'm not much of a baker to begin with, what do you guys think would happen if I attempted to make empanadas again with a new recipe and used store-bought puff pastry.

Is it worth a try? They might not be authentic but I would appreciate your opinions. I don't want to waste puff pastry. It ain't cheap!


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  1. My grocer has frozen Goya empanada dough which isn't bad. Might be worth checking the frozen food section. [Only recently investigated this foreign part of the market and they sell lots of stuff there that was surprising to me.]

    Puff Pastry could work for baked empanadas, but not for fried. Sadly, the butter would collapse in a fryer. Given the thickness of puff pastry, I would make sure that there was enough filling so that it isn't just baked dough.

    1. We found some discos a while back at Whole Foods, sorry I don't remember the brand but they only had one. They were in the freezer case. I was surprised that they were puff pastries instead of a single layer. They were quite tasty. As smtucker said, we baked them instead of frying.

      The recipe we use can be found at:

      The only change we made was to reduce the sazon to about 1/4 tsp. to reduce the sodium. In addition to the empanadas, we also make the filling, put it into a baking dish and top it with two packages of cornbread. The filling is basically done at this point, just bake it according to the cornbread recipe.

      The chicken empanadas sound interesting. I'll have to look for a recipe.

      1. I used to substitute puff pastry all the time when I wanted a quick appetizer for a last minute invitation. Not authentic empanadas, of course, but still a perfectly tasty bite.

        1. Puff pastry is a great choice for light, flaky empanadas that are not entirely traditional.

          For meat fillings, I actually prefer a puff pastry made with vegetable shortening, such as Pepperidge Farm. It's easier to work with and the more neutral flavor is lighter than an all-butter pastry.

          It can be tricky, but I've also fried puff pastry empanadas with outstanding (if not lowfat) results.

          1 Reply
          1. re: btnfood

            OK , this changes everything. I didn't know pre-made empanada wrappers were something that even existed. I'll have to look for them. Does anbody know who would carry those. I live in central CA and work in a grocery store and never seen them before.( Although I never thought to look for them. ) Perhaps a Trader Joe's or Hispanic market?

            And if I do make them, they will be baked. The ones that I had were baked.

            Thanks, btnfood. I had planned on using the Pepperidge Farm brand. It's the brand we carry. But I've never worked with puff pastry before so this will be a new experience!