Spiced Pear Empanadas

This is something I’ve been thinking about making for a long long time. I remember when I was about 5 years old my family would go to Taco Bell (bad, I know) and we’d get empanadas that were hot, gooey, oily, and unhealthy as all h***. I loved them. Ever since then, I’ve been brainstorming on how to recreate this dessert. The other day at lunch, my mom suggested that I try using masa flour to make cinnamon rolls (more on that later), and then it dawned on me. Mexican food item, Mexican ingredient… it had to work!

So I tried it.

Let’s just say that you can expect more empanada recipes in the future… like pumpkin pie empanadas! Mmmmm…. 😉

Spiced Pear Empanadas

Yield: ~12 Empanadas

Spiced Pear Empanadas


  • 1 Pear, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Agar Agar
  • 1 TBSP Tapioca Starch
  • 2 TBSP Oat Flour
  • 1 Tsp Stevia Powder OR 1/4 Tsp Monk Fruit Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Kilo Masa Dough (in Mexico, check the tortillerías)
  • 2 Tsp Stevia Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring them to a boil and then turn the burner down to simmer while you're working on the dough. The final filling result should be approximately the consistency of a thin pudding (spoonable, but not goopy).
  2. While the filling is simmering, incorporate the stevia powder, sea salt, and olive oil into the masa dough. You WILL have to use your hands for this step. I recommend creating a small well in the middle of the masa dough in which to put the ingredients, and then folding the ingredients into the dough. Make sure you do this on a relatively non-stick surface (I used a cutting board).
  3. When the dough and the filling are both ready, roll the masa dough into 2-inch balls.
  4. Take one ball and, on the non-stick surface, gently press it into a circular or oval shape. Pull the dough carefully off of the surface and set it back down before filling (this way, if the dough rips you won't have a catastrophe with spillage and such).
  5. Spoon about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of filling into the middle of the dough circle. Fold in half and seal by pressing fork tongs into the sides of each empanada.
  6. Carefully put the empanada on a pan prepared with parchment paper. Repeat the process until all the dough and filling is gone.
  7. Before baking, you can baste each empanada with some olive oil and then sprinkle some salt on top, if desired. This step isn't necessary, but it does add some crunchiness and extra flavor. 🙂
  8. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the empanadas are slightly browned and firm to the touch (the tops will crack).
  9. Remove from oven and let cool before eating.
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