Little pastry turnovers filled with fruit are famous during Easter and are very easy to make. The market cooks bake these cherry turnovers to crisp perfection and then pile them up in large earthenware plates, ready to tempt passers-by.
Puff pastry is commonly used, but I have had them made with shortcrust pastry and masa tortilla dough, and I have occasionally used filo pastry sheets in my kitchen. However, the hojaldre provides the unmatchable buttery flakiness that somehow seems to suit Easter rejoicing so well!
Any reasonably firm and not too juicy fruit can find its way into an empanada: cherries as in the cherry turnovers recipe below, peaches and apricots, bananas, pineapple, apples or pears.
Flaky Cherry Turnovers Recipe
- 375 grams puff pastry all-butter
- 225 grams cherries halved and pitted, stoned
- ½ teaspoon corn flour
- 2 tablespoons cherry jam
- 1 medium egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon sugar confectioner’s
- Roll the pastry out to 2 millimetres and cut out 4 circles approximately 6 inches in diameter.
- Toss the cherries with the cornflour and divide them between the four circles, placing them off centre to make it easier to fold the pastry later. Top with a good tablespoon of cherry jam.
- Using a pastry brush, paint the pastry edges all the way around with a beaten egg. Carefully fold the pastry up and over the fruit into a half-moon shape. Press the edges together gently and crimp them with your thumb and forefinger or the tines of a fork, ensuring the turnover is well sealed to prevent the jam from seeping out. Put the pastries on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and brush the tops with beaten egg. Refrigerate the pastries for at least half an hour to firm up the pastry. The turnovers can be prepared up to this point several hours or even a day in advance and refrigerated.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Bake the empanadas until they are beautifully golden and crisp, about 30 minutes. Cool for ten minutes, as the filling will be scorchingly hot. Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.
- Serve with lots of thick cream.