Fall Treat Recipe: Pumpkin Empanada

Pumpkin Empanada

Photo: Jeanine Thurston

This dessert treat includes a recipe for pastry dough that has been passed down several generations


Pumpkin Empanada

Growing up we always knew the fall and winter meant lots of sweet and tasty treats we call empanadas. These pastry pockets are filled with whatever jam or preserves are in season or whatever you were lucky enough to preserve over the summer. This particular recipe calls for my favorite filling—pumpkin. I prefer to use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling because making it from scratch is too watery. Adding the freshest spices, makes a big difference. So go fresh with your spices whenever possible.




Pumpkin Empanada


Pumpkin Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed firmly
1 cup organic pumpkin, NOT pie filling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until it dissolves with the butter. Stir in the pumpkin and the spices. Continue to stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the filling is not too watery; otherwise let it cook for a couple more minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes. Put the filling in the refrigerator to help it set for 30 minutes or overnight.
You can make the Empanada Dough while the filling is cooling off. This dough is a classic family recipe used by my grandmother, my mother and now my sister and me. We love this dough because it makes just enough to bake 2 dozen sweet empanadas.

Empanada Dough ingredients:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar


About the author

Jorge Bravo

Jorge L. Bravo is the founder of Hispanic Kitchen, the first English-language social network devoted exclusively to Hispanic cooking. Jorge's goal is to provide a connection to Latin culture through food. He's a native of Miami, which is home to the largest Cuban community outside of the island and home to many other large Latin communities, among them Colombian, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Argentinian, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Spanish. Living in this melting pot of Latin flavor is what helped spark his vision for creating Hispanic Kitchen