Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pumpkin Empanadas

Let me start off by saying that I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving - or anytime, actually. I prefer fruit pies or anything cheesecake or chocolate or better yet, any combination of the three. However, when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Empanadas, I was intrigued and knew that I had to try them.

The result? A rich morsel of goodness wrapped in a light, flaky crust. The recipe promised that the empanada would taste like an individual slice of pumpkin pie. Not so, in my opinion...it's more of a cross between a pumpkin pie and a super sweet pecan pie.


Filling ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I didn't have this, so I substituted 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Crust ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
8-10 tbsp cold water

Glaze ingredients:
1 egg
1 tsp water

In a saucepan, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, 1 tbsp butter, filling spices. Stir to combine some and cook over medium heat until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat, and cool completely (approximately 1 hour). Stir in pecans and set aside.

(OK - so I realize this is not the most appetizing of photos...but the filling is really tasty!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulse in enough water until dough is just moistened.

Divide dough in half. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, until about 1/8 inch thick. (Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator so it remains cold.) Cut circles with a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Place 1/2 tsp of the filling in the center of each circle. Fold one side of the circle over to form a crescent-shaped empanada. Pinch dough lightly to form a seam, then use the tines of a fork to seal the empanada closed. Place on a non-greased cookie sheet. Repeat until all cookies are made.

Whisk together egg and 1 tsp water in a small bowl. Brush egg mixture lightly onto empanadas. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are browned and glossy. Remove from oven and let cool. Eat warm!

Although I appreciate the absolute perfection that is homemade pie crust - the next time I make these, I will probably cheat and buy some pre-made crust to cut down on the mess and save time. The recipe also said that it would yield 4 dozen cookies...which is a total LIE! I got about a dozen and half out of my dough, with lots of filling left over. This did irritate me some, but I plan to make another batch tonight, so I threw the leftover filling in the fridge with a little plastic wrap to cover it.

I do think that a touch of "sugar in the raw" sprinkled over the top, pre-bake, would give these cookies a little somethin-somethin. All I'm thinking about today, is how good they would be with a side of vanilla ice cream!


Mo said...

well, I for one, LUV pumpkin pie (and, pumpkin cookies), so pumpkin empanadas sounds pretty yummy...

Lady Kaos said...

I don't like pumpkin pie either, but I might like those.

Debbie said...

They look delicious...another pumpkin recipe to try!!!

Teresa said...

Those look yummy....definitely a recipe I will try!