pumpkin empanadas. A play on my (mexican) pumpkin pie, these empanadas are stupid good.

Wrapped in an anise seed whole wheat crust, filled with spiced up pumpkin goodness, and topped with crema batida (mexican whipped cream)- I found it impossible to eat just one (and so did my mom).

I find that cooking the pumpkin purée with the spices (which can be adjusted according to taste), agave nectar and molasses prior to filling up the empanadas indispensable to intensify the flavours. And subsequently mixing in a couple of Mexican crema spoonfuls a must to soften and tangy up the mix.

So while pumpkin pie might be reserved to the yearly Thanksgiving feast, these just might pop up year-round.

click through for recipe

for the anise seed whole wheat pastry
200 g (1 1/2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour
1 TBS evaporated cane juice
1 TBS anise seeds
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-4 TBS ice cold water

for the pumpkin filling
270 g (1 cup) pumpkin puree
2 TBS agave nectar
1 tsp dark molasses
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of cardamom
pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup water
2 TBS Mexican crema (or crème fraîche)

for the crema batida (makes 2 cups)
270 g (1 cup) of Mexican crema (or crème fraîche)
1 TBS agave nectar (or to taste)
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract

For the anise seed whole wheat pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt and anise seeds into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the butter and pulse a few more
times. Add the beaten egg and pulse a couple more times. Add 1 tablespoon of ice cold water at a time. On a flat surface incorporate into a ball, flatten, shape into a square, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan mix together the pumpkin puree, agave nectar, molasses, spices, salt and water. Cover and simmer in low fire for about 15 minutes. Place in a bowl, set aside and leave to cool.

Once the pumpkin mixture is cool, mix in the 2 TBS of Mexican crema.

Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).

To make the empanadas, roll out the pastry into a rectangle about 24 cm in width and 36 cm in length. With a 12 cm-diameter cutter, cut out six circles and place on a baking tray. Evenly distribute the pumpkin mixture, fold and crimp edges with a fork.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

Serve warm with crema batida.

For the crema batida (whipped cream), beat the crema (or crème fraîche), agave nectar and Mexican vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy and firm.

makes 6 empanadas 12 cm (5 inches) in diameter

a bit more #gnom-gnom:

cranberry 'n pecan (agave) galette
(mexican) pumpkin pie
(vegan 'n gluten free) salted chocolate tarts
(toasted) nutmeg 'n maple frozen yoghurt

by Paola in desserts



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  1. November 24, 2012

    I love the pumpkin take on this rather traditional Mexican dish, it’s a very original and interesting twist. Gonna have to try them asap!

  2. November 25, 2012

    What an interesting variation, and looks so yummy too!
    Thank you for sharing, Paola.

  3. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) #
    November 28, 2012

    These have my name written all over them – they sound perfect! I love that the pastry dough is spiced too!

  4. December 3, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, it’s new to me doing an empanada… we do them but the filling is different, sometimes pork or chicken and with bits of veggies.

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