Friday, October 3, 2014
Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9 Tbsp well chilled shortening, in small chunks
2/3 to 1 cup milk
1 Tbsp shortening
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
3/4 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add shortening. Cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulse while adding milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until dough holds together when pressed into a ball. Shape into 3 round disks. Wrap in plastic. Chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
For filling: Heat shortening in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in brown sugar, thyme and salt until evenly blended. Stir in pumpkin, ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Heat 1-inch deep vegetable oil to 350 degrees F in large skillet over medium heat. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each to a 6-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Brush edges with water. Spoon 1/4 cup pumpkin mixture onto each circle. Fold dough in half to cover filling. Press edges with fork to seal.
Cook empanadas in hot oil 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through cooking time. Drain on paper towels. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Notes: Makes 12 empanadas. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cookies, and I more or less lived on empanadas while I was a missionary in Paraguay, so when I saw this recipe I really wanted to try it. I was not disappointed - liked these a lot. Having said that, though, the crust was completely different than any I ever had in South America. It was flaky and more like a pie crust. Brittany said she will probably use this crust recipe the next time she makes Natchitoches Meat Pie.
Source: This recipe was attached to a large bottle of Crisco vegetable oil that we bought a while ago.