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If I could choose one thing from the Northern hemisphere to take with me it would be the changing of seasons. I’m really, really jealous about each tiny aspect of it. The breeze that announces summer is over and berries that announce summer just began again; melting and muddy snow telling winter’s gone and its same hard flakes predicting a cold and grey winter came to stay.

Spring, well, it’s an entire new concept to me now. It’s not all about flowers – we do have flowers in Brazil, and they adorn my precious land all year around – but the expectation of it, the little tiny springs beginning to show up to color the trees, the hidden sun starting to shine,  warming us up and giving the real meaning winter is over.

And last but not least, there’s fall. It is not the grey season anymore, stopping summer to play around, showing we have responsibilities and life can’t be a timeless picnic – or carnival, depending on where you are. Instead fall is an unusual (to me) palette of colors that combined with a chilly air and the sound of crunch leaves makes me a hungry girl!!

So, these little pumpkin and goat cheese pocket pies are just the beginning, an appetizer to welcome the tastiest season of all!!

I think we had a conversation about this dough but it doesn’t hurt to warn you one more time: that’s THE DOUGH RECIPE YOU WANNA KEEP!!! It’s totally the apple of my eyes, I use it for making quiches but it’s also very malleable and  easy to work with, especially if the matter is little and individual things like these pies.

In hot days, measure all ingredients and put them on the fridge for about an hour. Temperature is the key to succeed here.

1. Place flour, salt and butter in a big bowl. Work with your fingertips or with a pastry blender ‘til the mixture resembles coarse meal.  You want to keep some visible pieces of butter

2. Beat together egg and 3 tbsp of cream. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients.

3. Using your fingertips, mix them smoothly by making circular movements. Don’t knead the dough.

4. Keep mixing. The dough should get together quickly and if it doesn’t happen, add one more tbsp of cream.

5. Don’t worry about spots, visible pieces of butter and stripes of cream; they are a good sign.  Press to form a ball, cover with plastic film and keep on the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

IMPORTANT: You can keep this dough on freezer for about a month. Just place it on the fridge and let it defrost overnight before using.

*I used Bucheron for this recipe but I highly recommend you to taste it before buying. It’s a bit strong and if you don’t like those kinds of cheese, opt for fresh goat cheese instead.

Preparing the filling:

1. If using pumpkin puree:

Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil. Add all ingredients, mix well and let it cool completely before using.

2.If you are using fresh pumpkin:

Cut pumpkin in quarters, scoop seeds out and cut each quarter in half. In a big bowl, mix pumpkin slices with other ingredients. Arrange everything in a baking sheet and bake it for 30 min. or ‘til pumpkin is tender and skin comes out easily.  Puree pulp and let it cool completely before using.

Preheat oven to 350F˚. Cut the cheese in approximately 24 pieces.

Place dough in a floured surface and roll it out into a 1/8 inch thin layer. Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter cut the dough into circles. Place the pumpkin filling in the center of the circle, place a piece of cheese on top and fold the dough over into a semicircle. Crimp down the edges and arrange  in a baking sheet. Keep doing the same process until the whole dough is gone. It makes approximately 24 pies.

Brush with eggwash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 30 minutes or until golden in color.

45 Responses to “Pumpkin and goat cheese pies to welcome fall!”

  1. tara

    these are remarkably lovely.

  2. Gourmet Goddess

    a visual feast for the eyes. i only recently discovered your website and LOVE IT !!!!

    keep it going

  3. pickyin @ LifeIsGrea

    Love that you shaped your pies like empanadas, so easy to pop them into the mouth!

  4. Mai

    These are absolutely beautiful. I’m bookmarking this recipe. Thanks!

  5. Helene


  6. Ashley

    Stunning. And such a brilliant idea.

  7. Caitlin

    These look incredible. Goat cheese + pumpkin = heaven. Any advice on changing the dough recipe for high altitude baking?

  8. Anna

    Are those black sesame seeds on top?

  9. sweet road

    Ohhh yum! two of some of the greatest flavors in one!

  10. SaraH B.

    Genius and Delicious! Great PoSt.

  11. Julia

    Fall sure is the tastiest season! Especially with these hand pies. Oh my goodness they look amazing!

  12. Mónica

    O Outono na forma de pequenas empadas para pegar e levar. Devem ser deliciosas!

  13. amanda areias

    Hi everyone!!!

    First, thanks for all the sweet comments and encouragement you all left here on the last few days!! I wanna say I read all of them and was very touched!! Unfortunately I’m facing a crash in my computer and, for some reason, they all disappeared. I could recover some but not all comments and deeply apologize for that.

    I’m here, open for any question!

  14. Judy

    These look so wonderful! I am inspired to try making them. Love your Blog! Do you take the photos? Judy (Brianna and Joey’s Mom)

  15. amanda areias

    Hi Judy!!! Thanks for stopping by! Yeas, all the pictures I mine, it’s something I’m still learning and totally love! I’m glad you like the blog and the recipe, please, let me know if you try them ok?

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  17. Kelsey (Happyolks)

    How have I not seen your blog before? Feel like I have so much to catch up on. These look delicious. I do agree, Fall is one of the best seasons. I still have pumpkin puree in the fridge from our trip last weekend, I imagine I could make these bigger for a full entree, too. So glad to find you 🙂

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  23. Sarah

    This sounds delicious, and I plan to make it. The cheese you have in the pictures is Brie and not goat cheese. Although I believe both would be absolutely delicious in this.

  24. amanda areias

    Hi Sarah, actually that’s a Bucheron cheese, a semi-aged goat’s cheese milk that looks like Brie but is stronger in flavor. You can choose your favorite. Let me know if you like ok?

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  26. Sarah

    Yes, please! Seeing these has got me thinking I’ll have to try it with homemade cranberry sauce and brie for a Christmas-y hand pie…

  27. Sara

    I saw this linked from 101 cookbooks, what a great-looking recipe! I love baking and am trying to do more of the savory varietey rather than just sweet. This would be a great step forward in my “mission.”


  28. Dina Avila

    I, too, discovered your blog thanks to Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. This recipe is just what I need to inspire me to cook a carnival squash sitting neglected on the kitchen table. I’ll blog about it on Leek Soup and share the link.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  29. Jane

    Sounds good but how many grams in a sick of butter?

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  31. Susan

    Made these tonight and they were quite good – I may not have rolled the dough thin enough because it took some extra time to get the dough cooked through and to get the outside to look as brown. But they were still a hit!

  32. amanda areias

    Susan, the baking time can vary for so many reasons, brand and type of oven, location, ingredients and, as you sad, thickness of the dough. I appreciate your report! It can help others too 🙂
    And I’m glad you figured it out and could enjoy the recipe.

  33. patrice

    I am trying to make ahead for a christmas eve party-do you think they will freeze well?

  34. amanda areias

    Hi Patrice,
    Yeas, you can surely make them ahead and freeze to gain some time. For even better result I would freeze them unbaked; and don’t thaw them, bake the pies right out of the freeze.

  35. leah

    these look amazing. I wonder if I could subsitute a good gluten free pastry dough – would you call it a pastry dough? like empanadas?

  36. amanda areias

    Hi Leah, glad you liked! I do call is pastry dough, just like empanadas. I’ve never used gluten free dough but I am pretty sure you can substitute. Let me know if it works 🙂

  37. susan

    These look delish. And I am so loving your graphics and design sense. Bravo!

  38. Sara S

    Quick question-
    Should the butter for the dough be room temperature or cold?

  39. amanda areias

    Hi Sara, sorry I was not clear about that, butter has to be cold!

  40. Nicole

    So good! I made it with butterbut squash (because I think butternut squash, goat cheese and sage are the greatest combination ever!) and it was delicious! The dough was a bit salty for me, but to be fair, I don’t usually add much salt when I cook, so I guess Im more sensitive. Thanks so much! I served these at a party and they are very impressive little appetizers!

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  45. Edi

    Hi Amanda,

    I came accross your Pumpkin Empanada recipe while reading
    What a magic inspiration, just reading your recipe and comments!
    Can’t wait to try them out! Our climate is extremely hot in South
    Africa at the moment, but i will let you know about my success.


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