Pumpkin Pie Empanadas

You can’t have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. Give it a twist by adding those traditional flavors to empanadas and get that light, flaky crust by frying rather than baking.

When you’re making your filling, you don’t want it to be too wet, so Chef Holland suggests adding a few tablespoons of flour to get it to the right consistency. She also recommends using a bigger pot for frying than you think you need because adding cold items to hot oil causes the oil to foam up. If the pot is too small, you will have, at best, a huge mess and a house fire at worst.

To get the perfect empanada, make sure you have a fryer thermometer on hand to help you determine the readiness of the oil. If it’s too cold, your dough will absorb the oil and leave you with a greasy finished product. On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, you risk burning your empanadas.

Pumpkin Pie Empanada
Pie dough ingredients:
3 cups + extra for counter flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, cold
1 cup ice cold water

Filling ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
1 cup real pumpkin puree, canned (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Grated orange zest (rind) of half an orange

Dipping Cream:
1 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup powdered sugar

Equipment needed: bowl rolling pin sheet pan parchment paper fork bowl, small pastry brush gloves bench scraper pot of oil or fryer (optional)


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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