Not only can I not cook with a whole lot of dairy, I also cannot use a vast majority of fruits and vegetables. John is allergic to almost every fresh thing there is. Apples, bananas, mangos, peaches, and strawberry are not safe in any form. Pretty much any fruit is excess will cause problems. Pears are alright. They, and mandarine oranges, are his one island of happiness in the world of fruit. The safest way to eat these two lone fruits is when they are canned so that even the slightest hint of reality has been taken away from them. Sad? Yes. But because I don’t enjoy canned fruits all the time I have learned a few ways to make canned fruits bearable. For one, when buying canned fruit make sure that it has been canned in fruit juice, not syrup. This makes them taste more real 🙂 and infuses a little less sugar into the fruit it’s self. Then when you are ready to use the fruit rinse it so that it is a far removed from the canning juices are possible. From here you can do a multitude of things. You pretty much use the fruit as you would fresh. Our favorite recipe with pears are Lemon Pear Empanadas. They are delicious and could pass as a very nice brunch item with eggs! We usually eat them for dessert after Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas. 🙂
For my current favorite empanada dough, click here. It is a great step-by-step guide and makes a whole bunch of dough. I often freeze the left over portion. It keeps around 2 weeks.
Lemon Pear Empanada Filling
- 1/2 can of pears, drained, rinsed, and sliced into thin pieces (or one medium Concorde pear, peeled and sliced)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbs Almond Milk (or cream)*
- 2 tsp flour, cornstarch or other thickening agent.
- 2 lg or 4 sm empanada discs
- Put pears, lemon juice, and sugar, in a small sauce pan or microwave safe bowl. Heat until pears begin to release juices and stir. Add in milk and stir until combined. Continue to heat (1 minute at a time in the microwave). Stir in thickening agent and mix until thickened.
- Fill empanadas and egg wash. Bake on 375F for 15 minutes (or until golden).
Serve Immediately 🙂
*it needs to be a thicker milk for the filling to be the right consistency. Almond milk works really well, but cream has a similar thickness and works perfectly.