Mexican Pumpkin Empanadas, Empanadas de Calabaza

Juliann Esquivel Recipe

By Juliann Esquivel Juliann

Prep Time:
Cook Time:

As a child I can rememeber my grandmother making these little pumpkin empanadas. They were so delicious. We would have them for dessert or for breakfast. Craving them; I bought a large beautiful pumpkin and had my husband cut it in half then he cleaned out the seeds and membranes. He then cut the halves in half. I put them face down on cookie sheets and baked for 1 hour and 20 minutes on 350 degrees. After I pulled them out I let them cool completely and then pulled off the peel which came off easly. I put all the pulp in my food processor and pulsed on puree until processed into a smooth paste. You can use canned pumkin if you like. (Pure pumkin) "not the pumkin pie seasoned" This recipe is a traditional Mexican dessert. Enjoy


1/4 c
white sugar
1/3 c
warm water
4 1/2 tsp
dry yeast or 2 packets
3/4 c
vegetable shortening, like crisco
3 c
all purpose white flour
1 tsp
1/8 tsp
baking powder
1 tsp
ground cinnamon
~~~pumpkin filling~~~
3/4 c
15 oz
pumpkin canned or baked and processed in a puree
1/4 tsp
1/4 tsp
ground ginger
1/8 tsp
ground cloves
1 tsp
ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp
(sparse tablespoons) heavy whipping cream

Directions Step-By-Step

Empanada Pastry: In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, warm water, yeast, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir real well to dissolve real good. In another bowl put 1 cup of the flour and pour your wet ingredients over the flour. With your mixer mix everything real real good. Now add the vegetable shortening and continue to use mixer and incorporate everything real good. Now take the remaing 2 cups flour and little by little in small increments continue to mix into your mixture of shortening and wet ingredients. Mix everything until you have a nice dough. You may have to add a little more warm water but in very small increments and continue to knead until you have a nice dough not real sticky just moist enough to hold together. Shape into a large ball and then cut into four equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes have passed take each piece and make little balls the size of ping pong balls. Do all of your dough this way and cover with plastic wrap so the dough does not dry out. Let rest while you mix the filling.
Filling: Take your pumpkin and place into a large bowl, add the sugar, salt, ground ginger, ground cloves, and the ground cinnamon. With a wisk or large spoon mix everything real good. Taste to see if the mixture has the right spice. You may want to add a little more cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in your pumpkin. Now add the two scant tablespoons of heavy cream and continue to mix very well incorporating everyhting real good.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, Line two cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with a little Bakers Helper or Pam Spray; Or lubricate the parchment paper with a scant bit of oil. Now take one of the little dough balls dust your surface with a bit of flour and roll out to about six or seven inch round circle; take a tablespoon and a half; of the pumpkin mixture and put in the middle of the pastry circle; fold over the pastry; with the tines of the fork press all around the edges of the empanada. With the fork poke twice the top of the pastry so the steam will escape. Sprinkle the top with some sugar and bake 18 to 20 minutes in the oven. After 15 minutes watch them they can burn fast. Do all of your little dough balls like this. Yields about 18/20 empanadas. They are delicious for breakfast, dessert or as a snack. Enjoy.
Note: I did not use all of my cooked pumpkin on empanadas only. I also made 2 two large pumpkin flans; am posting the recipe and picture next. LOL

About this Recipe

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Dec 9, 2013 - Bobby Webb shared this recipe with discussion group: "EVERYTHING MEXICAN"
Juliann Esquivel Juliann
Oct 28, 2013
I am so glad you like the empanadas. I also use camote sometimes (Sweet potatoes) My grandmother would use either one which ever was available. smae way too. just roast in the oven aand then peel and mash add the same spices and heavey vream. They would turn out delicious. When ever I have piloncillo a type of Mexican sugar with the molases still in it I use in place of white sugar. You can also use a dark brown brown sugar if piloncillo is not available. Good luck in the kitchen. LOL
Hivore Torres Ivy16
Oct 27, 2013
Hi, Juliann, I was looking for a recipe to made empanadas and found your recipe, I made it and they came perfect!! my daughter is very pickly about food and I can't believe she eat three empanadas one after another, thank you and I would try the flan looks delicious and with your direction should would come great. thank you.
Juliann Esquivel Juliann
Jan 2, 2013
Hi Liz so glad you liked my empanadas. I will have to try your fried jalapenos with cream cheese sounds like a winner. LOL