Pumpkin empanadas may not be on everyone’s Thanksgiving table, but this is a staple in many Southwest and Mexico homes. It’s a sweet pastry, so if you’re thinking of adding something new to your Thanksgiving or Christmas table – this is the dish! And they’re also great the next morning with a cup of coffee or tea.
This pumpkin empanada recipe was passed down from my husband’s family. He remembers helping his mom make them when he was little, and he had our kids help him when they were little. It’s one of those family traditions you hope the kids remember and continue.
You’ll start by mixing your spices and flour and rolling out your dough in sections (about 1/8″ thick).
You’ll be cutting pieces approx. 5″ x 5″. These will fold over with your filling into nice size classic empanada triangles. (You can always make them smaller or you can also make them into pockets by using two pieces, for more of a poptart-style pastry.)
For the filling, consider making your own pumpkin puree. The farmers markets (and stores) are still full of sugar pumpkins. You can find my easy recipe for pumpkin puree here.
Add your filling, fold over corner to corner, and press closed with a fork. (Note: it may help to lightly moisten the edge before pressing them closed.)
Brush liberally with egg whites (this part is just perfect for little hands). The egg whites will turn them a nice shade of brown while they cook.