These vegan empanadas are filled with zesty black beans and wrapped in flaky puff pastry. They're packed with flavor and surprisingly easy to make!
Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the pepper and onion. Cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is tender and the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cloves. Stir everything and cook the mixture for about 1 minute, until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
Add the beans, water, and tomato paste. Stir everything to blend the tomato paste with the water.
Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, until the beans have softened up a bit and most of the liquid has cooked off.
Remove the skillet from heat.
Stir in the corn, hot sauce, scallions, and cilantro. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and oil two large or three medium-sized baking sheets.
Place one of your puff pastry sheets on the counter, and use a rolling pin to roll it into a 9x14 inch rectangle.
Cut six circles in the dough, about 4 1/2 inches each in diameter. To do this you can use a large cookie or biscuit cutter, or find an appropriately-sized bowl and use a knife to cut around it. You can also just eyeball it, if you're comfortable doing that.
Repeat the process until all of your dough has been rolled and cut. You should have eighteen circles.
Fill a small bowl with water.
Grab one of your dough circles and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center.
Wet a finger with the bowl of water, then spread a thin layer of water around the edges of the circle. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling, and pinch the edges tightly to seal. Place it on a baking sheet and crimp the edges with a fork.
Repeat until all of the filling and dough circles are used, arranging the empanadas evenly on the baking sheets with about an inch separating them.
Use a fork to poke a few holes in each empanada, then brush the tops of the empanadas with the milk.
Place the empanadas into the oven (you can bake them in batches if they don't all fit), and bake them for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the baking sheets from the oven and brush the empanadas with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Bake the empanadas for about 5 minutes more, until golden brown.
Let the empanadas cool for just a few minutes before serving.
* I don't recommend skipping the hot sauce, as it adds a lot of flavor. If you absolutely must omit it, try adding a dash of vinegar or lime juice to help balance the flavors.