Simmer pears in the water for 30-40 minutes until soft; drain, reserving liquid; once pears are cool, purée them in a food processor or blender, stopping food processor occasionally and scraping down its sides and adding enough reserved pear liquid to make a thick purée about the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Heat 1/2 cup of reserved pear liquid in saucepan; stir in sugar and cook for about 5 minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize; add pear purée, cinnamon, and cloves; stir well; remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter (using pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; beat egg yolks with 3 tablespoons ice water then add to flour mixture; stir, adding more ice water a tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together and forms a ball; chill dough for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 16 equal-sized balls; on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 3-4" circle; brush edge of each circle with the beaten egg yolk mixture and place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling in the center; fold dough over the filling to form a semi-circle; crimp edges with a fork to seal the empanada; pierce top of each empanada a couple times with fork and brush it with egg yolk mixture; carefully lift empanadas with a spatula and place onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with no-stick cooking spray; bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes until empanadas are puffy and golden.
NOTE: For a simple and quick treat, make these empanadas using your favorite flavor of canned pie filling.