I have to be honest here… these paleo pumpkin empanadas with salted caramel drizzle are a little over the top, even for me. But when my friend Joanne from Just Eat Real Food challenged me to make them, how in the world could I possibly say no??? I couldn’t. And with the crispness in the air this weekend, I knew what my Sunday morning project would be.
So I woke up this morning, made my Mom’s Favorite Coffee (duh) and got to work. When I ran up the stairs to get organized, my husband said he had never heard me race up the stairs that quickly. I laughed and told him I was on a mission. And I was. Today was the day and I had yuca boiling on the stovetop before 9am.
I was a little worried about the wetness of the pumpkin filling as I had encountered challenges with “wet fillings” before with my yuca dough. Luckily I think the addition of the water chestnut flour and coconut sugar in the dough helped to make a solid foundation and not a bit of filling leaked out. Whew!
I hope you’ll enjoy these and should you have any questions about yuca, I just made a new FAQ post about working with the dough that I think might help. Otherwise be sure to watch my YOUTUBE vids on just how to conquer this tasty beast.
Note: these are in theory AIP friendly based on the ingredients BUT because they are a TREAT, they should be treated as much. I am not one for Paleo Policing but there is coconut palm sugar in these, making them for special occasions!
Makes: 10-12 empanadas, depending on size
For the Empanada Crust:
- 3 cups peeled, boiled (until fork tender) yuca (mashed slightly into measuring cup)
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or preferred cooking fat)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour or water chestnut flour
For the Pumpkin Filling:
- 1/2 cup canned or fresh organic pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (caution for AIP)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
For Salted Caramel Drizzle:
- 2/3 cup coconut cream (this is the part of the full fat canned coconut milk that separates during refrigeration or you can buy coconut cream by itself)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon 100% vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425
- To make the crust, combine drained boiled yuca (remove woody core after boiling), oil, coconut sugar, and baking soda in a heavy duty blender or food processor.
- Blend (using tamper) until a dough is formed. See my FAQ page or YOUTUBE vids for more info
- Spoon out dough onto a piece of parchment paper and work in coconut or water chestnut flour by hand
- Divide into 10-12 balls of dough and set aside
- For the filling, combine pumpkin and remaining spices
- Now take one of the pieces of sectioned off dough
- Divide it into two equal sized pieces; one for the top and one for the bottom
- Roll each piece and flatten it, making each about 1/3 inch thick
- Spoon about 1.5 teaspoons of the pumpkin filling mixture onto the bottom piece
- Take the 2nd half of the dough and place it on top of the one with the filling
- Press the edges closed by hand or by fork until they are sealed well
- Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and bake them (in batches if necessary) for about 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned and crisp to the touch. The baked empanadas will soften some after they cool but should be crisp when you “tap” them as they come out of the oven
- While the empanadas cool, make your caramel drizzle by combining the coconut cream, coconut sugar, and sea salt in a small saucepan over high heat
- Stir regularly for about 15 minutes or until ingredients cook down, thicken, and darken
- Remove from heat and briefly use an immersion blender until uniformly creamy. Note: If there is a little bit of fat/oil sitting on top you can pour that off before using the immersion
- Once slightly cooled, drizzle the salted caramel over the empanadas. I used a sandwich bag and cut off the tip for a nice uniform drizzle.