The Pumpkin Moon Empanadas is now available on Amazon.com.
(Artwork courtesy of Sarah D. Thomas)
Empanadas de calabaza
Yes, this is a labor intensive recipe, but certainly worth the effort. You will find that empanadas or pumpkin pie made from scratch is more delicate tasting then ones made from a can.
1 29 oz. can pumpkin puree (not filling); or, Fresh Roasted Pumpkin Puree (recipe to follow)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon or less of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 to 8 tablespoons ice-cold beer (or, ice-cold lemon-lime soda if making empanadas for kids)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon water
Fresh Roasted Pumpkin Puree Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut one 8 to 10 lbs baking pumpkin into large pieces. Remove seeds. Place pieces skin-side down on a greased baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes to 1 hour , or until skin is easlily pierced with a fork. If pumpkin is sogg, uncover and roast for about 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool away from little fingers. Spoon out the pumpkin flesg abd whirl in a blender until smooth. Puree should be moist but not at all soggy. Save 3 1/2 cups. Use instead of canned pumpkin puree for this or any other recipe.
To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, mix together the canned or fresh roasted pumpkin puree, butter, salt, grated orange peel, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and nutmeg. Adjust the spices and sugar to taste. Cook uncovered over low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. remove from heat and let cool.
To make the pastry: On a hard flat surface, use a pastry cutter or a chopping knife to mix the flour, shortening, butter, salt and sugar. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal. Gradually add the 4 - 8 tablespoons of ice-cold lemon-lime soda until the dough comes together, but do not over-knead. Let the dought rest in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly beat the egg white in a small bowl. Beat the egg yoke with 1 teaspoon water in another bowl. Set both aside. Roll out the pastry dough to 1/8 inch thick. Place the open part of a small bowl or large drinking glass (about 4 inches in diameter) and press it into the pastry dough to create circles. Remove the excess pastry dough. In the middle of each circle put a tablespoon of pumpkin filling. Brush some beaten egg white along the edge of each pastry circle. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges. Keep working until all the pastry dough is used up.
Carefully lift the empanadas and place them on 2 parchment-covered cookie sheets. Brush each empanada with the egg yoke mixture. Poke a small hole in each empanada to let steam escape.
Bake the empanadas for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the empanadas with a mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar. Let cool for 5 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen small empanadas.
Tip: To make large empanadas, use a dinner or a salad plate instead of a bowl to cut the pastry. Use a generous amount of filling but don't overdo it--you don't want the filling to gush out. Make 3 small slits to let steam escape.