Pumpkin Empanadas Recipe

For the filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree, homemade or canned

1/2 cup coconut 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:
1 1/2 cups (225g) whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

2 eggs, whisked

1 tablespoon milk

For the egg wash:
1 egg, whisked

sugar for sprinkling

The filling:
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.

The dough:
Add both flours, coconut sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or two forks to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles crumbs. Pour whisked eggs and a tablespoon of milk into the butter/flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Alternatively, you can do the dough in a food processor.

Gather the dough into a ball. If it doesn’t stick together, add another tablespoon of milk until a ball can be formed. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes (add more all-purpose flour as you knead, if it’s extremely sticky). Form the dough into 4 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes. 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 (I did 4-inch / 10cm circles as I like my empanadas smaller), re-rolling scraps. 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 the 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.

Use a paring knife to cut slits on the top of each pie 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 the oven and let sit for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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