Summer season is almost over, but we shouldn’t be sad about it. The fall brings its own flavors that comfort and warm. Apples, cinnamon, pears, pumpkins, squash, pies, soups… I’m so ready for this! Seriously. A week ago, I made apple enchiladas for the first time this year. Today I made pumpkin empanadas… Like I said, I’m so ready for the fall season and what it has to offer! What about you?
These pumpkin empanadas are just heavenly! They scream out “AUTUMN” to me! It’s one of those desserts that I can’t stop eating… They are addictive, tasty little treats and I adore them.
Although these mini hand-pies take a little time to make, but it’s sooo worth the effort. The crust is so yummy, flaky, and buttery that it makes my mouth water! Not to mention the sweet, bursting with flavor pumpkin filling… Delicious!
Come on, I know you want one of these little pumpkin hand pies right now… Who doesn’t?! And because I know that you’re all drooling over these amazing looking cuties, here’s the recipe. You’re welcome! 🙂
For the filling:
- 2 cups pumpkin puree , homemade or canned
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cold, cut into cubes
- 2 eggs , whisked
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg , whisked
- sugar for sprinkling
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the pumpkin puree (I used homemade), brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, and salt and cook on low heat, stirring often, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture becomes thick and darker in color. Taste for sugar and spices and adjust to your taste, if necessary. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or two blunt knives to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles crumbs. Pour whisked eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk into the butter/flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Gather the dough into a ball. If dough doesn't stick together, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a ball can be formed. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes (add more flour as you knead, if it's extremely sticky). Form dough into 4 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes. A chilled dough is easier to handle.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Assembling the empanadas:
- Work with one dough ball at a time (keep the others refrigerated till ready to use). On a floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Cut out desired size circles for empanadas, re-rolling scraps (I like to make smaller empanadas). Add a dollop (or more, if your circles are large) of filling in the center of each circle, fold over, creating a half-moon shape, and using a fork, press edges together to seal empanada. Transfer to a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough. Refrigerate the empanadas for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pierce the center of each empanada to allow steam to escape and avoid leaks during baking. Brush each empanada with whisked egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown (watch carefully as they can burn quickly). Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!