Learn more about how this Authentic Mexican Pumpkin Empanadas recipe is used to celebrate Dia de Muertos in Mexico from guest blogger Adriana Martin. And get the recipe so you can make them too!
Dia de Muertos is a Mexican celebration that dates from centuries ago. In my Mexican culture, we celebrate death the same way we celebrate life because we believe there is still life after death. Our beloved ones that have left us deserve to be remembered and celebrated.
November 2 is the Day of the Dead commemoration. Many families put together altars in their houses including colorful decorations and yellow flowers called cempazuchitl or marigolds. The altar also includes many traditional dishes, such as mole and tamales, as well as sugar skulls, bread and desserts.
During my childhood, my aunt Julieta would prepare pumpkin empanadas made with homemade candied pumpkin puree and a flaky dough. This was one of the special treats for the fall and for Día de Muertos.
Taking my aunt’s original recipe, I have created my own version of pumpkin empanadas for you to enjoy at home and share some Latino cultural facts with your children. This recipe is very simple with just a few ingredients.
You can serve the empanadas with a full glass of milk or frothy Mexican Hot Chocolate. These are perfect for a snack or to serve in an upcoming Halloween or Day of the Dead party.
perfect for getting kids involved in the kitchen.
- 1 small pumpkin cut in pieces
- 2 piloncillo cones (or 2 1/2 cups raw sugar)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup water
- 1 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 premade pie crusts
- 1 teaspoon orange-colored sugar
- 1 teaspoon purple-colored sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add pumpkin, piloncillo, cinnamon and water to large pot. Cook over medium heat, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove pumpkin and scoop out flesh. Place in bowl and mash with piloncillo syrup. Set aside.
- Whisk egg and milk in small bowl. Set aside.
- Place pie crust on wooden surface and cut into 4-inch rounds with small bowl or dough cutter.
- Fill dough rounds with 1½ tsp. pumpkin mash. Brush edges with egg wash, fold dough over to form empanada and seal sides by pressing down with a fork. (A dough press can also be used.)
- Place empanadas on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.