These raspberry, goat cheese and almond empanadas or sweet turnovers are a delicious dessert. These sweet empanadas are made with a filling of fresh raspberries, a sweet goat cheese mix with vanilla/orange zest, and sliced almonds.
Who can resist freshly picked raspberries at the farmer’s market? I didn’t grow up eating raspberries, but I did have a few different varieties of moras or blackberries growing in the mountains near our farm, so it’s very hard for me to resist any type of good looking berry.
Summer in the Seattle area (or anywhere in the PNW) means finding an amazing selection of berries of the many different farmer’s markets. It’s inevitable that we leave the market with a couple of flats of different berries, and raspberries are usually a must. Most of time, the berries are gone before I get a chance to make anything with them, but this time I had a recipe idea in mind, so I made sure to save some for these raspberry empanadas.Jump to Recipe
I love the combination of raspberries, goat cheese and almonds. It is a mix that works just as well in a savory combination– think of a salad with some spinach or arugula and these ingredients – or as sweet filling for baked pastries. I made these for an empanada brunch – I had the classic empanadas de viento or fried empanadas stuffed with cheese, empanadas mendocinas stuffed with meat picadillo, a new experimental empanada stuffed with spicy shrimp and mango (recipe coming soon) and these sweet empanadas.
I served these last and they received rave reviews. Nicolas thought these were the best ones he ever had, while another friend gave an eloquent description of how the texture was just perfect. I felt like a proud mom.
On the assembly side of these sweet empanadas, I discovered that it is a lot easier to make small empanadas. The sweet dough is a lot more fragile than the standard savory empanada dough, so making the empanada discs smaller makes them easier to assemble and the disc is less likely to crack.
I’ve also noticed that with desserts- especially if like me you stuff everyone with several courses of food before you get to dessert – sometimes people like having something small, and for those who have more room for dessert, they can just eat twice as many empanadas.
I’ve come to accept that sweet empanadas stuffed with any kind of fruit are likely leak a little bit and in the case of these the goat cheese and raspberries had a few almost explosion like results – basically the top part look like a small eruption took place – but it actually made them look more appealing by offering a small glimpse into what was hiding inside the empanada, and I was even asked if I made them this way on purpose.
Raspberry, goat cheese and almond empanadas
- 15-18 medium or 25-30 small sweet empanada discs made from basic sweet pastry dough for empanadas See recipe for homemade dough below
- 12 ounces of fresh raspberries
- 10-11 ounces of plain goat cheese room temperature (can also use cream cheese)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 egg yolk and white separated and lightly whisked
- ¼ cup demerara sugar to sprinkle on top – can also use brown sugar
- Combine the goat cheese, sugar, vanilla, orange zest in a bowl, mix well.
- To assemble the empanadas place a spoonful of the goat cheese mixture, a couple of raspberries and a few almond slices on the center of the empanada disc.
- Brush the edges of the empanada disc with the egg whites.
- Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal the empanadas.
- Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when baked.
- Sprinkle the almond slices on the top of the empanadas, do this immediately after you brush them with the egg yolk, it will help the almond slices stick to the empanada.
- Sprinkle each empanada with a little bit of the demerara sugar.
- Chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes or until ready to bake, this will help them seal better.
- Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Serve warm.
Recipe for homemade sweet empanada dough
How to make sweet empanada dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 8 ounces butter 8 ounces = 225grams= 2 sticks, cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2-4 tablespoons of cold water or cold milk
Making homemade sweet empanada dough:
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
- Add the butter, eggs and water until a clumpy dough forms.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes.
- Form dough into 2 balls, flatten into thick discs, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas, use round molds or a small plate or cup as a mold, you can choose how large based on whether you want small or medium sized empanadas .
- Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.
Assembling and baking sweet empanadas:
- To assemble these sweet empanadas or dessert turnovers, place the filling of your choice on the center of each empanada disc. Don’t add too much filling since it makes it harder to close or seal the empanadas when they’re overstuffed.
- To seal the empanadas, fold the disc and seal the edges by pressing the dough with your fingers. If needed, you can brush the inside edges with egg white, it will act as a glue for the empanadas. You can do a final seal by pressing the top of a fork against the edges. You can also try a curl type seal, called repulgue or churito, by using your fingers to twist the curl the edges – this is harder with sweet empanadas than with regular savory empanada dough.
- For best results, refrigerate the empanadas for at least 30 minutes before baking – this also helps them seal better and prevents the filling from leaking out.
- If you want your empanadas to have a nice golden finish, then you can brush them with egg wash (a whole egg whisked or egg yolk plus a few drops of water whisked). After brushing the empanadas with egg wash, you can sprinkle sugar (I prefer brown sugar or demerara) on top. You can also sprinkle them with regular or powdered sugar after baking.
- Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven. I usually bake them at 375F/190C. The baking time will vary based on the oven and size of empanadas, and should be in the range of 18-25 minutes – the empanadas will be ready once they are golden on top.