Pineapple empanadas are an old fashioned favorite, so for this recipe I thought I would use some old fashioned ingredients. We are using fresh pineapple for the filling and to make the filling thick, I am using tapioca which is something I always have in my refrigerator.
Yes, I keep tapioca in my refrigerator as I do most of my grains and flours. Running to town is not that convenient, so I keep my ingredients stocked and ready to use (What I am trying to politely say is that we have bugs here at the ranch and the only place those bugs don’t invade is my fridge!)
Use European Butter
Also, I am using a beautiful Irish/European style butter in this recipe, which will give you superior flavor. However, here at the ranch, its a little warm and as we all know, butter melts quickly. So I added a little vegetable shortening to the pastry recipe to stabilize the empanada crust.
We are also making a sweet glaze for the empanadas using vanilla bean and a little pineapple juice. I prefer to use a whole vanilla bean as the flavor is very rich. In this uncooked glaze, vanilla extract can have an alcohol flavor. You can always opt out of the vanilla flavor altogether, but for me the vanilla bean is so over the top!
Use Fresh Pineapple
I prefer to use a whole fresh pineapple when making these Pineapple Empanadas, but whole pineapple usually yield about 4 cups of fruit, and this recipe calls for 2 cups. You can either use half a pineapple, or you can make two batches of empanada crust. The fresh pineapple makes such a difference, but there is no way i can predict what size of pineapple you will acquire.
The Pineapple Empanadas are superb with a cup of coffee and a double side order of freindly conversation. Call your bestie, as these empanadas are so good!Print
Pineapple Empanadas are buttery and sweet
- Prep Time: 3.5 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 empanadas 1x
5oz unsalted European or Irish butter, diced into small cubes (141g)
1.25oz vegetable shortening, diced into small cubes (35g)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (190g)
2 tbsp. sugar (25g)
¾ tsp. salt (3g)
¼ cup ice water (60ml)
2 cups fresh pineapple, finely chopped (480g)
½ cup sugar (100g)
1 tbsp. instant tapioca (8g) or 1 ½ tbsp. tapioca starch (12g)
½ cup sifted powdered sugar (100g)
2–3 tbsp. pineapple juice (30-45ml)
1 vanilla bean (optional)
Place the cubes of butter and vegetable shortening in a container and freeze for 1 hour before use. If the cubes freeze together, break them up with a spoon before adding to the food processor.
Add the flour, sugar and salt to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor. Mix slightly. You can use a pastry cutter/stirrup to cut the butter into the flour mixture, or you can use your food processor.
Add about half of the butter/shortening cubes and cut/pulse until you have a flaky meal with large and small pieces. Add the remaining butter and cut/pulse again.
Add ice water by the spoonful until your dough gathers into a ball. Do not add too much water. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in waxed paper. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling for the empanadas by adding the pineapple to a mixing bowl. Reserve and set aside 2-3 tablespoons of pineapple juice for the glaze. Add the sugar to the pineapple and sprinkle over the tapioca. Stir to release some of the juice from the pineapple. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. I use a tortilla press for making empanadas but you can certainly use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough.
Heat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll in a bit of flour. On a floured surface or using your tortilla press, flatten the dough into circles (see video.) Fill with a couple of 1 -2 spoonfuls of pineapple filling. Fold the dough over and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Shape and fill all of the empanadas in this fashion. Crimp the edges of the empanadas together using a fork.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. Allow to cool completely.
Make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar with the reserved pineapple juice. Carefully slice open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the glaze. Stir to combine well and then drizzle over the cooled empanadas.
Whole pineapples yield about 4 cups of chopped fruit, so you may need to make 2 batches of the empanada crust recipe.