I know I'm not alone in my excitement over fall's imminent arrival. It's my absolute favorite season of the year! Here in South Texas, the scorching, end-of-summer heat will linger a bit longer, and I always look so forward to the cool, autumn weather. After suffering through the recent, sweltering weeks, the crisp, breezy fall days will be like heaven-on-Earth for me.
The upcoming, chilly days will open the door for my family to enjoy some of our favorite things. To start with, my favorite things to wear are jeans and boots. In fact, I've already dusted off my favorite pair of Roper's and they're ready for action! And, hopefully it won't be too much longer before we get to bundle up in sweaters and watch the kids play in huge piles of fallen leaves outside. We also can't wait for bonfires, homemade hot cocoa, s'mores!
In October, we visit some local, church pumpkin patches and then there is all the spooky, Halloween fun to anticipate. Plus, October is my birthday month! Unlike many people, I really look forward celebrating my birthday, even if it's just an easy dinner and cake at home.
Back on the first day of September, wheelbarrows full of plump, orange pumpkins and mysterious-looking gourds were put out for display at our local grocery store. Accordingly, the gorgeous array of rustic, harvest colors are taking over in every other store too. It really sets the mood for the onset of the pumpkin-flavored-everything-season, doesn't it? Well, it does for me. Are you excited, yet?
This is the first, and definitely not the last of the pumpkin-loving recipes I'll be posting.
Spiced Pumpkin Empanadas
** Special equipment needed before you start: toothpick, fork, pastry brush, wooden spoon.
**Optional equipment: hand-held pastry blender
For the Filling:
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sugar
For the pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking power
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup cold, salted butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- extra 1/4 cup of water, for sealing the pastry rounds
- 2 tsps of each, cinnamon and sugar, combined for dusting.
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tsp water
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling and set it aside.
|Ignore the sweetened milk in this photo! I didn't use it in this recipe afterall. It thought it would add too much liquid to the filling|
2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in another large bowl.
3. Using yours hands or a pastry blender, mix the shortening and cold butter into the flour until it looks like coarse meal.
4. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the beaten egg and the ice cold water until a shaggy dough forms. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until the dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
5. Pre-heat your oven to 350°. Using large pieces of the pastry dough, roll it out to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a four-inch, round cookie cutter, cut your rounds.
7. Using a fork, lightly press around the edges to make a decorative seal on the empanadas. Using a toothpick, poke 1 or 2 small holes on the sides of pastry pocket. (this allows steam to escape and helps prevent your pastry from bursting!)
8. Place your prepared empanadas onto a large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush each empanada with the egg wash and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
9. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned. Remove from oven. That filling will be steaming hot, so allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes before taking a bite!
10. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!