Empanadas de Calabaza – Pumpkin Empanadas
2 lb of cooked sugar pumpkin
1 1/2 – 2 piloncillo , about 16 oz. each, depending on how sweet you like the filling
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Ok, so perhaps the hardest part of this recipe is cooking the pumpkins. To crack the pumpkins open, drop them on the floor. Seriously, it’s the easiest way! You can mop later. You can also slice open and chop into pieces like most people.
Place pumpkin pieces in a large pan, skin facing down (see picture above). I used two pots. Add about 1/2 a cup of water, cover, and let it simmer until the inside is tender. Test it with a fork. If it falls easily off the skin, it’s ready. Drain any remaining water and set aside, uncovered.
You can also leave the pumpkin intact, cover with foil, and bake at 400 degrees to approx. 40 minutes.
Scoop out the meat of the cooked pumpkin and transfer into a large pot. Turn heat to medium. Mash pumpkin and add cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo. (you can break piloncillo into smaller pieces for faster cooking)
Once, piloncillo has melted and is well incorporated, turn heat off. Taste it. If you prefer a sweeter filling, add more piloncillo.
Below you will find 2 pastry recipes. Choose the one that seems the easiest to prepare or according to the ingredients you have on hand.
Pastry recipe # 1 (My personal favorite)
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until slightly golden
Makes approx. 30 small empanadas
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg plus 1 tbsp. water for wash (optional)
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix well.
Add cooking oil and mix with your hands
Add half the water and continue to work the dough. Add the rest of the water if the dough is too dry. The dough will feel slightly sticky. This is ok. Cover and allow dough to rest for at least 40 minutes.
Separate dough into golf ball sized portions and roll dough out.
Add 2-3 tbsp. of pumpkin filling to one side of the pastry and fold the other side over. With a fork, press down edges. This will keep the filling from escaping while baking.
Place pastries on baking sheet and brush with egg and water wash.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. After 20 minutes, carefully flip pastries and continue to bake until golden brown on both sides.
Pastry recipe # 2:
Bake at 370 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup water
5 oz. butter
– Mix dry ingredients. Once dry ingredients are well incorporated, add egg yolk, water, and butter. Mix well until dough forms. You can use this dough immediately unlike the previous dough recipe. Form into 10-12 small balls and roll out the dough. Follow the same procedure of rolling out each ball and filling with 2-3 tbsp. of pumpkin puree. Bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and enjoy!