Most of us remember the most amazing smells of freshly baked cinnamon and pumpkin empanadas in Licha’s kitchen growing up so it’s really a special treat that her daughter Carmen Guel is willing to pass it on to new generations.
Dough (can be doubled to make more)
- 2-1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
Fresh Pumpkin Filling (or you can use the canned version)
- 1-2 whole pumpkins
- 1 package cinnamon sticks
- 1 package cloves, whole or ground
- 1-2 packages brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Canned Filling (you can make without raisins & nuts if you choose)
- 16 oz canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves, ground
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Beat melted butter, milk, and 1 egg in a small bowl. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Form into a ball and cover. Chill for one hour.
Fresh Pumpkin Filling
In a large pot, boil water with 2 cinnamon sticks, a few whole cloves, and a couple tbsp brown sugar. Cut the pumpkin in large pieces, remove the insides and place in boiling water until soft. Remove from the water and drain in a strainer. Spread pumpkin pieces on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and brown sugar and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Scoop the meat out of pumpkin shells and drain again in strainer. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin meat with 1 tsp ground clove, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and as much brown sugar (1 cup) and granulated sugar (1/2 cup) to reach your desired sweetness.
Canned Pumpkin Filling
Combine pumpkin and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add nuts, raisins, lemon juice, water, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix well. Divide the dough into 12-14 portions. On a lightly floured board, roll out each portion into 6 inch circles. Place scant 1/4 cup or one large tbsp full of pumpkin mixture on each circle. Moisten edges with water. Fold in half, pressing edges with a fork to seal or scallop sealed edges by indenting at 3/4 inch intervals. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg and brush on top of the empanadas. Mix cinnamon sugar and sprinkle over the empanadas. Poke each with a fork three times. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.
The year before she passed, mom taught me how to make these pumpkin empanadas step-by-step. I’ll never forget making these with my mom.”