In my house, we have a “Baking Jar.” What happens is, my roommates will write down suggestions for what I should make, like scones or banana bread, and stick it in this jar. I also take small donations to cover the costs of certain ingredients. Anyways, needless to say, this jar is still full of ideas that I can’t nearly go through fast enough.
There were two notes in the jar recently — both empanadas. I’ve never made empanadas, but I’ve eaten my fair share of both savory and sweet versions. All I can say is: YUM! I love pastries, and I’m usually not too bad at making them, if I do say so myself!
Before I became vegan, I tried Lui’s mom’s strawberry empanadas, which are flaky, sweet, little pockets of joy. So, I have that to live up to. Nerves aside, I was excited to learn something new and hoped that they came out edible. Instead of winging it like I normally do, I went to Lui’s mom for her dough recipe. Since I’ve eaten what she makes, I trusted her recipe more than anything I could find online. I only altered a couple of things, but I’m so happy she let me use her recipe to make my own. Thus the Vegan Sunshine Mango Empanadas were born!
I’d been on a mango kick (I’m never not, but I’ve been extra into them), so instead of strawberry, I made a mango lime jam. Let me tell you, I let everyone try the jam and we all wanted to devour it plain. Arguably, it’s one of the best things I ever made, and there was enough leftover to spread on my toast the next morning.
Making these empanadas took a lot of time, and I learned a lot about sealing pastry dough (like how badly I need to practice the repulgue), but it was such a fun experience! I’m excited to come up with more jams, delve into savory empanada territory, and be an empanada-making machine. Empanadas for every meal, anyone?
Sunshine Mango Empanadas Recipe
Sunshine Mango Empanadas
Mango Lime Jam
- 1 ½ cup frozen mango
- 5 limes zest and juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups vegan shortening
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup soy milk
- 1 flax egg
- 1-2 tbs melted butter for wash
Mango Lime Jam
- Heat a pot on medium high
- Add the mango, sugar, and lime juice
- Stir constantly until mango is thawed and broken down. You want the sugar fully dissolved
- Mix in the lime zest and let the mixture sit on low to thicken
- Once the jam is thick, let it cool to room temperature in a glass jar, uncovered. Then, seal the jar and place upside down to create a vacuum
- Set aside until ready for use
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the egg
- Gradually add the milk to the dry ingredients, mixing well until the dough is soft and not sticky
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Roll portions of dough into small balls and flatten really well (you can use a tortilla press, the bottom of a plate, or a rolling pin)
- Take the jar of mango jam and scoop a portion into a bowl. Add a spoonful of flour and mix
- Spread a small spoonful of jam into the center of one flattened circle
- Fold one side of the circle over to the other side and press down on the edges, keeping the jam inside
- Seal the edges using your favorite technique (fork, repulgue, etc)
- Spread out empanadas on a lined baking sheet, fitting about 6-8 total
- Brush some better on the top of each empanada, and put in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and just crisp on the outside
- The traditional recipe I adapted this from calls for beer in the batter, but I didn’t have any on hand. If you make empanadas this way, go for it, you don’t have to omit anything from this one.
- The jam is very sweet and very tart — you don’t have to include the lime but it helps balance the flavor. You can also cut the level of sugar down to your preference (the natural sweetness of the mango should still shine).
- I rarely ever make anything that requires folding and sealing, so I’m no expert and can’t successfully repulgue. There’s nothing wrong with using a fork! I like the pinching method, because it makes these empanadas look like sunshine (hence the name). But take this opportunity to practice sealing, or just go with the tried and true methods — it’ll taste delicious either way!