A traditional turnover style desert, empanadas can be either baked or fried. Filling can vary according to region but usually includes some variation of pumpkin and spices. A traditional celebration food in Latino households, Empanadas are not for the health conscious!
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lard or shortening
1/2 cup milk
Fat for deep frying (optional)
Powdered sugar or granulated sugar
1 16oz. can pumpkin
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in lard or shortening till mixture resembles cornmeal. Beat eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring till combined (use hands if necessary).
Form dough into a ball, cover and chill for one hour.
While dough is chilling, mix together all ingredients for filling.
Divide dough into 16 portions and lightly flour a rolling surface.
Roll each portion into a 6-inch circle. Place about 3 tablespoons pumpkin filling on each. Moisten edges with a little water; fold in half, pressing edges with a fork to seal. Fry or bake as directed. Makes 16 empanadas.
To fry: Fry empanadas, a few at a time, in deep hot fat (375 degrees) for about 4 minutes or till golden, turning once. Drain on paper toweling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar
To bake: Place empanadas on baking sheet.
Brush tops with a little milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Wait to cool.