Pumpkin Pie Empanadas: Make This Tasty Twist On the Fall Favorite

Pumpkin pie is the dessert of the season, so there are a ton of delicious recipes to choose from. But if you’re looking for a fresh take on the fall favorite, you’ve got to try these Pumpkin Hand Pies, courtesy of Colavita.

It’s like an entire pumpkin pie in one bite! Plus, the personal pies will make reaching for a second (or third) a little more justifiable.

Similar to an empanada, a Spanish pastry that is traditionally stuffed with meat, vegetables, and cheese, these pie pockets are filled with pumpkin puree and baked until the edges are golden and crisp. The salted caramel glaze is literally the icing on top.

Follow the recipe below to create a sweet twist. Your guests are guaranteed to gobble them up.

What you’ll need

For filling:
2 15oz cans pumpkin puree
½ cup white sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp fine sea salt
⅛ tsp ground clove
⅛ tsp ground allspice

For crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup + 2 tbsp Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup ice water (as needed)
1 egg (beaten)

For glaze:
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp kosher salt (more for sprinkling)
½ cup powdered sugar (sifted)


Position the oven rack to center and preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

For the crust: Add the flour, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the olive oil and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Add in the ice water, one teaspoon at a time, pulsing until large clumps begin to form. Pour the mixture out onto a clean surface and, with lightly floured hands, form into a ball, and then flatten into a 4”x 1/2″ thick rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Keep covered until ready to assemble.

For the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, white and brown sugar, one egg, vanilla extract, and spices until well combined. Chill until ready to use.

*Chef’s Tip: Don’t over whisk the pumpkin mixture as this will incorporate air and could result in your filling puffing up too much when baking. For this tart you want a smooth custard texture.

To assemble: In a small bowl, beat the egg for the egg wash. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into rounds about 6 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the outer edge of each round with the egg wash.

Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into the center of each round. Fold the dough over the filling, forming a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges of the dough to seal, using a fork, or fold the edges back and create little pleats by pinching.

Transfer the hand pies to the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush each with the egg wash, taking care to cover the edges too. Bake until the dough is golden, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for about 15 minutes then transfer the hand pies sheet to a wire rack to cool before glazing.

For the glaze: Do this step after the empanadas are baked and cooled. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, about 6-8 minutes as it begins to caramelize. Stir in the powdered sugar. Remove from the heat. The mixture should be thick but still pourable. Dip the tops of each empanada into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Immediately after glazing, sprinkle a few flakes of salt on top.

Eat up!

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