Pumpkin Empanadas are a fun alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. If you can't find calabaza (West Indian pumpkin soup) at your grocer, you can easily substitute a pie pumpkin, canned pureed pumpkin, Hubbard squash or butternut squash. Empanadas make great appetizers, finger foods, lunches and meals on the go.
- 2 cups West Indian pumpkin (peeled, cooked and mashed)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a bowl, thoroughly mix the ingredients together, then cook in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Allow the mix to cool before filling the empanada discs.
While the mix is cooling, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the filling by the spoonful into your prepared empanada dough, or store bought discs*.
Fold the dough and filling into a half circle shape and crimp the edges with a fork. If the edges won't stay sealed you can dip the fork in water before crimping or use an egg wash. Do not overfill the empanadas. They will tear and you will lose your filling.
Bake the empanadas on a greased cookie sheet until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. To avoid burning, watch them closely.
*Empanada dough is available in specialty markets in the form of frozen discs, usually 10 discs per pack.
**If you prefer to fry your empanadas, omit the egg wash and fry them in a preheated fryer where the oil has been brought to 350 degrees. It will only take 1 to 2 minutes per side and they should be lightly golden.