Algonquin Squash Empanadas Recipe | PBS Food

Algonquin Squash Empanadas

From the Kitchen of: Alexandra Emanuelli
The Algonquian squash (or pumpkin) originated in New England and was grown by the Abenaki people of Maine, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts. Algonquian pumpkin was among the foodstuffs Lewis and Clark traded for with the Mandan Indians circa 1804-1806.

These empanadas are subtly sweet, spicy, and versatile. Serve on their own, with a smoky hot sauce for something sa- vory, or with fresh whipped cream for a simple dessert.

Course: ,


  • Dough:
  • 2 1⁄2 cup White Sonoran Wheat flour (or all purpose flour) 1⁄2 cup of lard or unsalted butter
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1⁄2 - 3⁄4 cup of ice water (Approximately)
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups of Algonquin squash
  • or pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1⁄4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1⁄2 cup of molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1⁄2 cup of brown sugar 1⁄4 teaspoon of allspice


  1. Mix flour and salt. With a pastry cutter, two knives, or a food processor, cut the fat into the flour until the flour has a sandy texture and the fat is the size of a pea. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture until the dough is beginning to come to- gether. Depending on many factors, you might not need all the water, so add it gradually until the mixture sticks together between your fingers, then gather the mixture together with your hands and form it into a dough. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the squash puree, eggs, orange zest, orange juice, and molasses. Separately, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together. Add this to the squash mixture and stir until well combined.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Roll out the chilled dough to 1/8 inch in thickness. Using a 5 inch circular cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles. Before filling the circles, stretch the circle out in your hand to extend the surface area. Fill each circle with about three table- spoons of filling; make adjustments depending on the size of your circle. The circle should easily fold on itself without the filling spilling over the edges or squishing out of the sides. Fold the circle and join the two sides by pinching to close the edges. Bake for twenty five to thirty minutes until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy.
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