Blackberry Basil Empanadas are a sweet-tooths dream. Flaky pie crust wrapped around a creamy, fruity center.
Blackberry Basil Empanadas were an experiment in unusual flavor combinations. I like how this one turned out. I also got to use some herbs from my kitchen garden. The chocolate mint smells great and adds hints of sweetness to the berries while the basil is a subtle contrast.
Here are some other unique flavor combinations that sound exciting to me:
- Asian pear & cracked black pepper
- Blood orange & cardamom
- Figs & fennel
- Raspberry & thyme
- Strawberry & coriander
- Watermelon & pineapple mint
I know I just posted savory empanadas, but I was dying to try these. As this blog moves along, you’ll see more too, trust. Hand pies are the bomb, whatever the filling. Do you have a personal favorite? Let me know, and I’ll definitely give them a shot at some point.
To save a little time, I used the 2 pack of the Pillsbury pie crust and just used a cookie cutter to make the rounds. I have heard mention of an empanada maker, but I’ve yet to spot one. One of those would be handy. Especially if you’re making a sizable batch.
For my vegan friends: You can substitute vegan cream cheese and a flax egg as well as your own vegan version of the dough. I sometimes use this pretty simple recipe and put it into the refrigerator to set:
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons applesauce
- 1/4 cup ice water, plus extra if needed
- Add the flour, salt, and coconut sugar to a large bowl. Using a fork, cut the coconut oil into the flour. Mix in the applesauce.
- Begin to add the water in slowly, just until the dough comes together.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Once chilled, remove from fridge and let warm up on the counter for 30 minutes.
Enjoy the Blackberry Basil Empanadas warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate baked empanadas for up to a few days. Reheat in a toaster oven or bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
Added bonus! I used the excess liquid from draining the berries/sugar to make blackberry mint lemonade. I just added sweet mint leaves and 2 cans of Spindrift lemon seltzer, and a squeeze of lime. It’s pretty sweet, so add more water if needed.
- 1 pkg. Pillsbury pie crusts (they come in 2 rolls per package)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pkg. blackberries
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- ½ cup cream cheese (or soy cream cheese).
- 2 Tbsp. sweet basil - fresh, chopped fine, keep some bits aside for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. chocolate mint leaves - chopped fine
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white (or flax egg)
- In a small saucepan add water and sugar over low heat
- Sugar melts quickly so stir continually until dissolved. 5 mins.
- Combine the berries and melted sugar in a saucepan
- Add lime zest, lime juice, herbs, & salt
- Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Remove most of the liquid with strainer over bowl and set bowl aside
- Coarsely mash berries with potato masher
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until thickened for at least two hours
- Mix herbs with cream cheese, fold in berries
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- On lightly floured surface, roll dough ⅛ inch thick.
- Use round cookie cutter or cup to cut out 3 to 4 inch circles
- Add a small amount of mixture to the center of circle
- Wet the outer edge of circle with water using fingertip
- Fold in half, pressing edges together
- Seal off the edges by pressing down with a fork
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Brush each empanada with an egg white wash using pastry brush or fingers
- Puncture two slits on the top of each empanada with a knife .
- Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper
- Place them on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden
- For added sweetness, sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon & sugar
- Place on baking rack to cool