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Pumpkin Turnover Recipe / Receta de Empanadas de Calabaza

Pumpkin Turnovers1empanadas de calabaza
It is 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning. It is a three-day weekend, you jump into you car and everyone but the driver seems to be half asleep. We headed to the highway, looking at the other cars and their passengers. You see numerous SUV’s, small and large cars heading on the same direction. You wonder where they’re all going on a peaceful Saturday morning. Are they all going away in a Holiday to the beach, or to a cabin on the mountain? (Yes, (hard to believe?) we also do that in Mexico! ) No, we all are going shopping. Yes, shopping! This is a ritual that used to happen very often during the years we lived in Monterrey, NL. You got up very early to make it to the border, before the lines of cars crossing the international bridge between Mexico and USA got so long that it would take hours just to make it through the US Customs booths. During those early morning trips somehow in my sleep-walking mode I managed to fix a large pot of coffee and pour it into a thermos that will be our companion in our 2-hour trip and something that will be in perfect harmony with the “Pumpkin Empanadas” sold by a young woman at the first toll both. You can call it a light breakfast until we made it to the American side and to the nearest Denny’s or “IHOP”. The memories of those empanadas came to my mind last weekend. Seeing pumpkins everywhere, it made me feel a craving to bake some. Deciding to make them with a yeasty dough was a personal option since that is the way I remember the dough flavor to taste as they do it in other northern states, but you can use your own pastry or pie recipe.

You can watch this you tube video where two nice ladies form the State of Sonora are baking the empanadas in the last stage where they place the empanadas under the broiler to give them that dark color.

Ingredients for 12 Empanadas

  • 2 1/2 pound pumpkin seeded without skin and cut in large cubes
  • 6 oz. Piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick of about one inch ( This will be removed after the pumpkin cooks)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground anis
  • 1/4 tsp. ground clove
  • For the dough:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ½ stick of melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten to brush the empanadas
NOTES:
  • For the pumpkin filling that renders about 3 cups of filling.
  • If using canned pumpkin just make sure buy 2 cans since 1 can equals 1 1/2 cup. It may reduce a little but that will be enough for this recipe.
empanadas de calabaza
1. Place the pumpkin in saucepan with the piloncillo, 1/4 cup of water and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Remove the cinnamon stick. Pumpkin Turnovers Empandas de calabaza

2. At this time the piloncillo should had been dissolved, add the ground cinnamon, ground anis and clove. Keep cooking uncovered for about 20 or more minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture takes the texture of a jam. This can be done ahead of time and has to be a room temperature before forming the empanadas.
Note: In case the pumpkin shell is to hard to remove since the ones sold in Mexico are really hard to remove. Cook the pumpkin first with a 1/4 cup of water until it is tender enough to scrape from the shell. Then cook the pulp with the rest of the ingredients for the filling without the water.

3. To form the dough; Place the yeast in a small bowl add the warm milk and let it proof for about 5 minutes.
4.Meanwhile in a large bowl place the Flour, eggs, melted and cool butter, sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix to form a soft a dough. Knead in a floured surface for about 5 minutes adding more flour if needed.
5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic and let it rest for about 1 1/2 hour in a warm place.
6. After that period of time knead the dough again for 2-3 minutes and divide in 12 small soft balls to start forming the empanadas. Cover with plastic.
 
Pumpkin Turnovers Empanadas de calabaza2a 
 
7.Now to form the empanadas: With the help of your rolling pin roll out each of the dough balls in a slightly floured surface into circles of about 7 inches diameter stretching it if necessary. 
8.Place about 1/4 cup of filling in center of each; fold dough to enclose filling and form a half moon. Seal edges by crimping with fork.
If you want your empanadas to look symmetric once you fold the circle place a cereal bowl upside down and press to cut any excess of dough like it shows in the picture.

Empanadas de Calabaza 13
9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange empanadas on 2 greased baking sheets; brush with egg wash and dust with some sugar if you desire to do so. Let them rest for about 30-35 minutes until dough raise.
10. Bake until light brown, 15 to 18 minutes; rotate pans between racks halfway through. Baking time will vary depending of your oven.
PumpkinTurnoversEmpanadasdecalabaza104
If you want to obtain a dark golden color in your empanadas do not add sugar to the topping and place them for 2-3 minutes under the broiler of your stove after baking them, watching carefully to avoid burning them.
Buen Provecho!

Update: I placed some of these empanadas in the freezer for later use. You know those times when you want to have some coffee and a sweet thing to go alone. Well, I put one in the toaster oven while my coffee was brewing and it tastes great. Really crispy with its soft filling. So now you know, they freeze well.





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39 comments:

  1. Ooooh ya ya. I have a lot of butternut squash that can be used in place of pumpkin. This looks so good. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

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  2. That is a good idea Gloria. That way I can say that I am eating my veggies. :)

    Mely

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  3. Qué bonitas empanadas Mely, nunca he usado esta receta para la pasta, buena idea, es otra opción, y buenos recuerdos de Monterrey ;)
    saludos

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  4. These look really good!!

    Can I make a request (actually two)? I've been searching for a good spicy Mexican vegetable soup (I'm a huge fan of the soup made at a local Mexican restaurant) and also a good cooked salsa recipe (I'm not sure what exactly to call the salsa.)

    :)

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  5. Hello Aninymous,
    I will be posting a soup later this month meanwhile check the other soups in the recipe files, there are some salsas also there. Do you remember the name of the soup at your local Mexican restaurant? Could it be "Caldo de res"?
    Please let me know.

    I wish you had left your name.

    Saludos,

    Mely

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  6. Sorry! my name is Giselle.

    I don't remember the name of the soup... or if it even has a name. It comes with most meals (would you like a soup or a salad with that?). But you can also order it as a meal. The soup is red/orange in color and it has cabbage and a few other vegetables in it. The broth is delicious.

    I will look forward to your soup recipe!

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  7. Hello Giselle,

    Thanks for the information. The soup is "Caldo de Res".

    I will post it later this month.

    Saludos,
    Mely

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  8. ay estaba pensando en enpanadas..no hay panocha en Inglaterra,lol (joke)..ojala y se sientas mejore pronto amiga.

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  9. Hi Mely,
    These empanadas look delicious! I love pumpkin and also butternut squash, what a great idea to bring this to my family's Halloween party. Your pictures are beautiful, they make me want to jump into the screen and take a bite!

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  10. Mely se antojan, gracias por la receta. Yo tengo antojo de hacer la calabaza en tacha, pero las calabazas de Castilla que he visto son enormes y también hay otras de color naranja preciosas, como las de EEUU, mas chicas. Tu sabes éstas se pueden hacer en tacha? Las has probado?

    Espero que ya te sientas mejor. Descansa amiga!

    Un abrazo

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  11. These look adorable! I love the pumpkin filling. Bet cinnamon and clove give a very nice flavor to it.

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  12. Hello Karen,

    I am feeling better today. Still need to go to the doctor tomorrow.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Hey Dama, you can use brown sugar to make the empanadas. Instead of piloncillo. Funny girl!



    Hola Prieta, ya me diste una idea para llevar yo tambien. :)

    Hi Zerrin, I like the cinammon and anis better but clove goes very well with them.

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  13. Hola Nora,
    Si las puedes usar para hacer claabaza en tacha solo que te recomeindo que primero pongas el piloncillo en la olla a que se derrita con una cucharada de agua y canela y despues le pones la calabaza. Las calabazas gringas son muy tiernas y se cocinan de volada.

    Saludos,

    Mely

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  14. I have always wanted to try making empanadas and these sound delicious.

    -Brenda

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  15. These look great. This would be nice to eat the day after Thanksgiving, before the turkey sandwiches! I usually use pie dough, but this looks healthier too. Thanks for sharing. I will have to add your blog to my list!

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  16. In our small town in Texas, you have to get to the bakery early to get pumpkin empanadas. They go fast. Thanks for sharing.

    Plan B

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  17. They look divine!!! I've been trying to get my courage up to make Empanadas and you make it look so simple. I'm thinking they are next on my list....tonight it's Korean Pancakes.

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  18. I do have a question...can you give a guesstamate for already processed pumpkin. I already processed my pumpkins and they are in the freezer. Thanks.

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  19. Hello Diane,

    The total amount of the pumpkin filling was 3 cups. About 1/4 cup of filling per empanadas. You just have to let the pumpkin simmer for a little while in a small pot to reduce the amount of liquid. This is in oder to avoid any leaking of the filling.

    I hope this answer your question.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Mely

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  20. Uy, se ven divinas, yo adoro las empanadas y nunca he probado la calabaza como relleno.
    Cómo me gustaría vivir en un sitio donde haya un mercado al que se pueda ir temprano en la mañana. Aquí en Miami no tenemos esa suerte.
    Creo que han abierto un Mexican Market un poco lejos, al sur, tengo planes de explorarlo este fin de semana, quizás valga la pena dar el viaje.
    Un abrazo desde Florida

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  21. Mely- These are absolutely beautiful. I bet the filling was amazing.

    I am about to post some empanadas I made over the weekend. How funny is that? Great minds think alike.

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  22. WOW!These Empanadas seems absolutely moth-watering.Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekeend :)

    Saludos from New Zealand, Aldy :)

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  23. love this idea. I love pumpkin last year my new thing was the pumpkin dump cake and now I found these thanks

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  24. tengo una pregunta, si uso can pumpkin en lugar de la calabaza en cubos, me puedes explicar como seria el procedimiento de los demas ingredientes, porfavor. Por ejemplo, tengo que usasr el 1/4 de taza de agua? seria mejor usar brown sugar en lugar del piloncillo?, cuando añadiria la canela?, cuanto tiempo lo dejo todo cociendo? Porfavor alludame.

    muchas gracias,
    Keninseb

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  25. Hola Keninseb,

    No le pongas el agua solo ponlo en una ollita con el azucar (brown sugar) y la canela y si quieres en lugar de canela en raja usa canela en polvo. EL chiste es que le des el sabor y que la consistencia sea como de mermelada suave y untable.

    Espero esto te ayuda.

    Gracias por visitar.

    Saludos y que te queden muy ricas,

    Mely

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  26. muchisimas gracias Mely.

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  27. I prepared these today and they turned out delicious. Thanks a lot <3333

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  28. Hello Anonymous, :)

    I am so glad to know their turn out OK for you. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know.

    Mely

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  29. My Grandmother made them the same way, only, she added a little apple sauce to the pumpkin mix and then cooked it slow to reduce the moaisture. It gave it a great flavor and I prefer them over regular pumpkin empanadas. She has been gone 15 years now and I haven't had them since. But I will use your recipe to make them and add the little extra my grandma used. Thanks so much, I can't wait to make them.

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  30. I finally prepared these today, and they came out very good. Question, though, with the last amounts of cinnamon & optional Anis; when and to what do you add those ingredients to?

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  31. Hello Freddyboyr:
    I great Idea the addition of apple sauce to the mix.


    Thanks for sharing it.

    Mely


    @Missdorac,

    Add with the piloncillo, thanks for letting me know. I typed that twice. :)!!!!

    Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

    Mely

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  32. I wonder if I can make the same dough but fill the "empanadas" with something salty like cooked chicken or ground beef/veggies ?... off course, I would not put sugar in the dough...what do you think?

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    Replies
    1. Hello Dea do Brasil,

      You can reduce the sugar in the dough and fill with a salty filling. We like it with ham and cheese. But also a a pizza filling works great.

      Happy cooking,

      Mely

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  33. This is the first recipe I've found that called for anise. The empanadas we got at our local panaderia always had that distinct, sweet aroma and flavor of anise in addition to the cinnamon, ginger and maybe cloves (although I would have never known if in fact they added cloves or not). My great-grandma baked the pumpkin but this method looks just as good. I suppose camote (sweet potato or yam) works just as good. My "Ama" didn't use milk for the dough. Instead she boiled water with a stick of cinnamon and a few anise seeds. She would boil for a minute or two and turn off the heat to let it cool down but not get cold before adding it to the dough. The anise seeds went right into the dough adding a wonderful flavor to the finished pastry.

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  34. Hello!
    I am so new to this. My son is leaving in 6 weeks to serve a church mission for the LDS church in Cochabamba Bolivia. He will be gone for 2 years, and is so excited! He has asked me to try some Bolivian recipes. I have been looking at a lot of them and have found a few to try. This looks fantastic! I have a question, I have found Anise extract, but no anise or anise seed. Do you know where I can find some? Does the extract achieve the same flavor? I'm excited to see your other recipes.
    Thank you!
    Chantel

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    Replies
    1. Hello find anise star in our amazon store. Just click on the link on the right column. But you can also use the anise extract. 2 or 3 drops will do the trick to add the flavor and aroma. Blessings to you and your son.

      Mely

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  35. All I can say is thank you Jesus! My mom passed a few years ago and I was remembering her empanadas and I could never find the proper recipe to make lime hers... until now! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Alex,

      I hope you enjoy the taste along with the memories of your mom.

      Happy cooking!

      Delete

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