Oh persimmons how I love thee, but what I hate are the prices of persimmons. It all depends where you live, but here in Colorado they can range from $1.99 to $2.99 each. They are definitely not an inexpensive fruit. Thanks to my friends over at Melissa’s Produce they sent me a case of cinnamon persimmons to try out.
I had been craving pumpkin empanadas, and wanted to try to make a persimmon purée with similar flavors.
When my son first bit into a warm empanada he said, “Mmmm, pumpkin empanadas!” He was very surprised to find out the filling was not pumpkin. I simmered the persimmons in canela and piloncillo similar to the way we make fresh homemade pumpkin purée and these tomato empanadas. The delicious combination with persimmons was an explosion of fall and winter holiday flavors all in one delicious bite.
For a simpler filling option: Peel the skin off the persimmons and cut into cubes and place the cut persimmon into a food processor and puree until smooth.
The cinnamon persimmon variety is so sweet. If you have access to persimmons then count your lucky stars, but if you have a challenging time finding them or they are too expensive in your area, I encourage you to order some here.
- 12 persimmons, recommend cinnamon variety, peeled and quartered
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 ounces piloncillo or 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- Canned evaporated milk
- Raw sugar
Make Persimmon Puree:
- In a large pot add enough water to cover persimmons, cinnamon stick, and piloncillo and set over medium heat and cook until piloncillo melts and persimmons are tender.
- Place the cooked persimmons into a food processor and puree until smooth. Place pureed persimmons back in pot and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool and discard cinnamon stick.
- Strain most of the water out of the persimmon puree but leave enough in the persimmons so they are not dry.
- Refrigerate as needed or use immediately.
- For a simpler filling option: Peel the skin off the persimmons and cut into cubes and place the cut persimmon into a food processor and puree until smooth.
Make Empanada Dough:
- In a stand mixer cream the shortening and then combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and milk and add to dough mixture until you have a soft dough. Remove dough from mixer and add flour to dough if sticky. Split the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Assemble and Bake Empanadas:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- On lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 4-inch circles.
- Place a small dollop of puree on one half of each of the dough circles. Wet the bottom edge of the circles with evaporated milk to help seal the two halves. Fold over the dough to cover filling and seal off the edges with a fork by pressing down along the edges. This also makes for a pretty pattern when baked.
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush each empanada with evaporated milk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Puncture two slits on the top of each empanada with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
- Place the empanadas on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes on middle rack in the oven. If after 15 minutes you notice the bottoms of the empanadas starting to brown, move the cookie sheet and set oven to broil and bake for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown.
- Enjoy the empanadas warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate baked empanadas for a few days. Reheat in a toaster oven or bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
Disclosure: The cinnamon persimmons were provided by Melissa’s Produce to sample and enjoy. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.