Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pumpkin Empanadas to Celebrate #PumpkinWeek

Welcome to day 4 of Pumpkin Week.  Thanks to Terri of Love and Confections, we will be sharing pumpkin recipes all week long.  This gives you the perfect opportunity to find a recipe that you will want to share with your family and friends over the Halloween and Thanksgiving Holidays.  Or just because it's Fall.  Or just because, like me, you love pumpkin!!

I love pumpkin so much that this is the third year that I have participated in this event.  Last year, on days 3 and 4, I shared a Pumpkin Yeast Bread and White Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse. In 2014, I made a wonderful Pumpkin Roll and a Pumpkin Custard Pie.  Two and half weeks worth of recipes and fun.  I am already looking forward to next year's Pumpkin Week!

I am actually sharing two recipes with you today because you need the first to make the second. However, the first recipe makes a very good dessert all on it's own. In fact, when I found this recipe in an old cookbook I own called "Mexican, Healthy Ways with a Favorite Cuisine" by Jane Milton, this recipe was written as a dessert with a little blurb to the side that it also makes great empanada filling.

Let's start right off with the Brown Sugar Pumpkin.

You start out by cutting up a small (1 1/2-2 lb) pumpkin into slices.  Leave on the peel but remove all seeds and as much membrane as possible.  Place into a heavy dutch oven and fill the openings with a good amount of brown sugar.  Sprinkle with ground cloves, throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks and some water being careful not to wash all the sugar to the bottom.  Cover and let cook on low for 30-45 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and a syrup is formed.

I then removed the pumpkin to a shallow bowl to cool,  You only need 16 teaspoons of the pumpkin for the empanadas.  I am using the rest in another dessert but in the cookbook it showed this served up in slices, garnisehd with mint and thick yogurt.  It was beautiful.  I think if I were using it as a dessert, I would serve up the slices still warm, topped with a scoop of ice cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.  YUM!!

Okay, onto the Empanadas.

The recipe for this dough was found in the same cookbook and only slightly adapted.  Place flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Cut a stick of unsalted butter into small dice and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  I would have normally used my food processor for this step but it is packed for the move.

Add an egg yolk to the mixture and stir to combine.  Add ice water, a Tablespoon at at time, stirring in the first couple of Tablespoons and then using your hands to combine the remaining Tablespoons until you are able to form the dough into a ball. Refrigerate while you remove the peels and mash up the cooled Brown Sugar Pumpkin.

Place the ball of dough onto a floured surface.  Allow to warm enough just to be pliable and roll the dough out as if rolling out pie dough.  Cut into 4" rounds, regathering and rerolling the dough as necessary.  I got 16 rounds from my dough.

Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.  Place a teaspoon of Brown Sugar Pumpkin in the center of each round.  Fold the dough over the filling and crimp the edges with a fork.  Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

These empanadas are a great finish to a Fall Feast or a Mexican Fiesta.  They are like little pumpkin pies without all the eggs and cream.  I really liked that this recipe had you bake the empanadas instead of frying them.

These are perfect little hand pies with a rich, delicious filling wrapped up in a flaky golden crust. They are sure to be a hit with your family and friends.  Don't forget to scroll down and see the other wonderful pumpkin recipes being offered today.

Pumpkin Empanadas 
slightly adapted from Mexican by Jane Milton

For Brown Sugar Pumpkin:

1 small pumpkin (1 1/2- 2 lbs)
1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1 t. ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Halve the pumpkin.  Remove seeds and as much membrane as possible.  Cut pumpkin into wedges and place in a heavy casserole or dutch oven.  Sprinkle with the brown sugar, filling the hollows created by the wedges.  Sprinkle with the cloves.  Pour water around the sides of the pumkin and place the cinnmon sticks in the hollow in the center.  Place onto low heat, cover and let simmer for 30-45 minutes, until pumpkin is tender and a syrup has formed.  Remove pumpkin wedges to a shallow bowl to cool. 

Note: If serving the pumpkin as dessert, place 2 slices into a shallow bowl and pour some hot syrup over it.  Top with Ice Cream and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

For Empanadas:

2 1/2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 stick cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk, beaten
Ice Water
1/4 c. milk
16 t. of mashed Brown Sugar Pumpkin (recipe above)

Combine flour, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the texture of coarse bread crumbs.  Stir in the yolk and 2 Tablespoons of water.  Using your hands incorporate additional ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until you can form the dough into a ball.

Place the ball onto a floured surface and roll out. Cut into 4" rounds, regathering and rerolling the pastry as needed to make 16 rounds.  Place the rounds onto a baking sheet that is covered with parchment or a silicone mat.  Place 1 teaspoon pumpkin onto each round.  Fold the rounds over the pumpkin and crimp edges with a fork.  Brush each empanada with a little milk and place in a preheted 400* oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Print Recipe

Print both Recipes together.

Day 4 Recipes


  1. YUMMY! I think I would drizzle them with some thin icing and let the kids go at them as pies!!

  2. I love that you roasted your own pumpkin. I haven't done that in a couple years because life is crazy, but I need to get back to it. The empanadas look fab!

    1. I didn't roast any this year because my freezer was full from last year but I did stew this pumpkin and braised some pumpkin for tomorrow's entry.

  3. What beautiful little treats!! Perfect fall addition for sure - I can just imagine the smell of that filling as it cooked. YUMM!


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