1/2 to 1 cup fat free or low fat milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 stick cinnamon
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup California strawberries, diced
1 package frozen empanada disks (thawed) or 2 refrigerated pie crusts
1 egg white - mixed egg white with 1 teaspoon water


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium sauce pan, bring milk, orange zest and cinnamon stick to a slow simmer over medium heat, watching the milk carefully so it doesn’t scorch or boil over. Simmer for 10 minutes; remove cinnamon stick and zest and reduce the heat down to low.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Repeat with another tablespoon milk. Add the egg mixture to the milk and whisk over low heat constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. It should be the consistency of creamy pudding. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature for 30 minutes before using. Once cool add the strawberries.

Roll each crust unto a flat surface.

Fill each circle with about 1 tablespoon of cooled filling. Carefully fold the dough in half, taking care to keep the filling inside the pocket. Press the edges shut and then seal using the tines of a fork. Brush with egg white mixture.
On a medium size cookie sheet, place the sealed empanadas and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Formulation courtesy of California Strawberry Commission