Hola! As thanksgiving gets closer the pumpkin-flavor-everything syndrome intensifies, so I had no option but to embrace it and try to make something pumpkin-y for the season. Which is not too hard since pumpkin is very versatile and can be easily incorporated into a savory or sweet dish, aside from baking a pie which is the first thing my mind tells me to do. I love pies, who doesn't? But if you are feeling a bit too lazy to make one from scratch, or if you want something a bit simpler and different I'll share with you a super simple recipe that is perfect for party appetizers: pumpkin and cheese dumplings!
I know it might sound a bit... odd. Dumplings? Cheese? Yes and yes! Creamy cheeses pair great with something sweet on top, imagine a brie cheese or cream cheese over a cracker with a dab of shimmering jam as a crown. It is an amazing sweet and savory combination that goes oh-so-well using a crunchy vessel, like a cracker or a baked wonton wrapper. I fondly remember when my mom hosted grown-up events I hurried downstairs when everyone was gone to eat the leftover appetizers, and my two favorites were cream cheese topped with chili marmalade, and soft brie cheese baked inside thick puff pastry. They had interesting flavor combinations that I didn't usually taste on a daily basis, and since I am an awful indecisive person this solved my internal crisis between choosing to eat something sweet or something savory. You can always have both!
PUMPKIN & CHEESE DUMPLINGS
makes 20 approx.
- 1 pack dumpling/wonton/gyoza wrappers*
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp apricot jelly (or any jelly, you can leave it out and add more honey instead)
- pinch of salt
- Any creamy cheese (I used goat bree, regular cream cheese will do fine)
- 1 tbsp butter (melted)
*FOR DUMPLING WRAPPERS: if you don't have access to dumpling wrappers on your local market, I recommend looking them up on asian markets. If there are not such markets in your area, here is an easy recipe from the always charming Maangchi, if you haven't seen her videos go check her out! She's amazingly skilled and super fun to watch.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a small bowl, mix pumpkin purée with honey, sugar, jelly and salt. You can also add a bit of cinnamon or any spices you like. You can add a bit more sweetener too, taste the purée until it is sweet enough for you.
- Cut the creamy cheese into small bite-sized pieces.
- Take one of the dumpling wrappers and add about 1/2 tsp of the purée and a small piece of cheese. Dip your fingers in water and gently wet the edges of the wrapper (this will work as "glue"), then close the wrapper by folding it in half over the filling. Use a fork to press the sides and seal the dumpling.
- Repeat the process until you run out of purée, I got 20 dumplings out of mine.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the dumplings on top. Brush them with a bit of melted butter and place them in the oven.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then flip them and bake them for another 5 minutes so they cook evenly on both sides. They should have crispy golden brown edges.
- Serve immediately.
I can imagine a ton of variations for this pumpkin dumpling recipe: since it's eggless maybe instead of cheese and sweet pumpkin you can have savory garlicky pumpkin and spinach? That way they'll be completely vegan friendly in case you are vegan or having vegan friends over! Or also, you know, you are not vegan or vegetarian but like to add baked spinach to anything to add "creaminess". You can also add a dash of vanilla extract and sugar to your cream cheese, plus the honey pumpkin purée and you'll get pumpkin cheesecake dumplings!
I even came out with this cool name for them: pumplings! Good? Bad? Okay, I'm not too good at naming stuff. And now I'm getting the urge to go back in the kitchen and use the rest of my purée to try out this and more combinations. Hope you can try them out, go have fun in the kitchen!