Pumpkin Empanadas are filled with a delicious spicy filling that is hard to resist.
This pastry is easy to work with and bakes up beautifully crisp. You’ll love all the heady aromas of spice that fill your kitchen while these Pumpkin Empanadas bake.
Why does this Italian cook make Pumpkin Empanadas?
Make the most of Pumpkins while they are around.
In sunny North Queensland we are enjoying a glut of gorgeous yellow pumpkins. Pumpkins grow so easily in our climate and many local farmers have a pumpkin patch. Australians are known for their pumpkin recipes. There are
But this is not the land of pumpkin pies and pumpkin empanadas. So I chose to adapt this recipe from A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent to make the most of our delicious Australian pumpkins.
Whether you are alongside me here in Australia or in celebrating Thanksgiving in the US or Canada, these Pumpkin Empanadas will be a recipe that you will come back to time and time again. You don’t need to just reserve these for special occasions, make a batch and freeze some for later because these Pumpkin Empanadas defrost really well. If you enjoyed this recipe and want more, it’s free to subscribe. Just click here and enter your email address.
Pumpkin Empanada Recipe
Filling: can be made the day before
- 1 kg pumpkin (jap pumpkin or pumpkin of your choice)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- 3 cups plain flour (plus more as needed)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 170 g butter
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 egg (large)
- ½ cup milk (warm)
- milk for brushing and raw sugar for sprinkling
Make the filling: Can be made the day before
- Cut the (unpeeled) pumpkin into large chunks, remove the seeds and fibres. Place in a microwave safe bow,l add a little water, cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool a little. Or steam if that's what you prefer.
- Remove the skin. Place the pumpkin to a pot and add the cinnamon stick and sprinkle on the brown sugar and add the salt. Set the pot over a medium heat. Stir to combine, the pumpkin will break up. Allow to come to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook for 20-30 minutes until the the mixture is thick and the liquid has almost completely absorbed.
- Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Puree in a food processor or with a stick blender. Let it cool completely.
Make the dough
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- With a electric mixer (or by hand if you like) beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, less than a minute. Add the sugar, cinnamon and cloves and beat well.
- Add the egg and beat for a minute.On low speed mix in the flour in 3 additions alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour. Mix only until just combined.
- If the dough is too dry add a little more milk or if too sticky add a little more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest 30 minutes to an hour.
- Heat the oven to 190C/375F
- Prepare a couple of large baking trays by lining with baking paper.
- Roll out the dough and cut circles of your choice. There is no need to flour the surface unless the dough is particularly sticky. I cut circles of about 9cm/3 ½in circles.
- Place a little of the filling on each circle of dough slightly off center, then fold dough over and press edges with tines of a fork.
- Transfer to baking sheet, spacing a little apart. Once all the empanadas are on the sheets, brush each one with milk and make a slit with a knife in the tops.
- Bake until deep golden brown. My smaller ones took only 30 minutes but larger ones could take 40-45 minutes.
- Cool a little on baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
- Pumpkin Empanadas freeze and defrost very well. Be sure to freeze in a well sealed container or plastic bag.