Desserts Great for Entertaining! Mexican Recipes

Pumpkin Empanadas

November 15, 2013
Pumpkin Empanadas are a Southwestern version of a traditional Jewish pastry.

Pumpkin Empanadas

The convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year reminds us that both holidays celebrate freedom from religious oppression. Even though Thanksgivukkah won’t repeat for at least another 60 years, it’s fun to blend holidays. This year, we’re celebrating with a southwest style turkey, and the empañadas are similar to traditional Jewish pastries, except with a pumpkin pie twist! Yes, once again, Feeding the Famished is playing with food, but I think you’ll like the result.

Add a savory sweet to your dessert lineup with these miniature pumpkin empanadas. Photo courtesy of Michelle Medina Jones.

Add a savory sweet to your dessert lineup with these miniature pumpkin empanadas. Photo courtesy of Michelle Medina Jones.

For Pastry:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 lb unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup sugar

1 3 oz package cream cheese

1 egg, separated

1 tsp condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix flour, sugar, and butter together until clumps form. Add cream cheese, egg yolk, and condensed milk. Reserve egg white for preparing glaze. Knead dough. Handle dough as lightly as possible. Chill dough in refrigerator for one hour. Roll out dough, sprinkle lightly with flour, fold, and return to refrigerator for at least half an hour. Repeat this procedure, for a flakier pastry.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/16th of an inch thick. Using a glass form, cut out circles.

For Filling:

2 eggs

2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

Whisk eggs thoroughly in large bowl. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugars and spices. Stir well.

Place mixture in slightly greased square baking pan. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Let cool.

Note: You will have extra filling which can be served as a pudding.

Increase oven heat to 400 degrees.

Place a small dollop of filling onto the round of dough, and fold over to make a crescent. Crimp edges with a fork.

In small bowl, whisk egg white and 1 tsp condensed milk or water. Brush over empañada.

Place crescents on slightly greased, nonstick, or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

If you’re truly getting into the whole Thanksgivukkah schtick, serve with Mogen David Blackberry wine.

Pumpkin Empanadas are a Southwestern version of a traditional Jewish pastry.

Thanksgivakkah is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence meriting attention. Serve up Pumpkin Empanadas, a Southwestern version of a Jewish pastry commonly served during Hanukkah.

Recipe creation and credits: Monica Kahn

Adapted with permission from More Than Chicken Soup: Recipes from the Little Synagogue on the Prairie (Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006).

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