These Pumpkin Empandas remind me of everything that is good in a pastry. The pastry is crisp and buttery and the filling is spicy and very autumnal.
Cooling and resting time1hr30mins
Author: Adapated from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent
Filling: can be made the day before
1kgpumpkin ((jap pumpkin or pumpkin of your choice))
1cupdark brown sugar((firmly packed))
3cupsplain flour((plus more as needed))
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 1/2in 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.