These delicious homemade pumpkin empanadas are made with caramelized or candied pumpkin, also known as dulce de zapallo. The pumpkin or squash is cooked in a syrup of panela or piloncillo with cinnamon, clove and all spice. I love making dulce de zapallo or candied pumpkin during the fall and winter months. It’s a great dessert and makes my house smell amazing. You can served dulce de zapallo or candied pumpkin alone or with a piece of fresh cheese as a dessert. However, it also works as a great base for pumpkin pies or tarts, pumpkin flan, and of course it makes a perfect filling for sweet empanadas or hand pies.
You can make these pumpkin empanadas with just the candied pumpkin filling and they will be delicious. Another variation is to add a bit a sweet vanilla goat cheese or cream cheese, or a piece of queso fresco, if you want to put the classic dulce de zapallo with queso fresco dessert into a bite sized dessert. I also like to sprinkle these pumpkin empanadas with some ground cinnamon right before serving them, it gives them an extra kick of flavor and makes them look even more scrumptious.
You can serve these sweet empanadas or turnovers warm right out of the oven, but they are also just as good cold. I also recommend serving them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (especially if warm) or some honey crème fraiche.
Step by step preparation photos for pumpkin empanadas