Pineapple Mango Empanadas prepared with coconut oil. Coconut oil is all the rage on the food scene right now. Said to be a healthier alternative than most oils, I have incorporated it into several recipes to test it out. This morning I was preparing a batch of empanadas for a friend and I remembered the coconut oil in my pantry. This was not the usual white version, but a bright orange/yellow coconut oil that is great for popcorn on the stove top! There really is no difference between the white and the yellow. The yellow coconut oil is colored with natural colorings according to the list of ingredients on the jar. I am always up for an experiment in my own kitchen. Again, I must give a shout out to my friend Kim who owns the local bulk food store for stocking quality ingredients like the coconut oil and the chipped unsweetened coconut that I love so much. In the next couple of weeks I will add the links to a few of the other recipes I have tried with coconut oil, like flour tortillas and various other baked goods. A coffee break and the other half of my empanada is waiting for me. Enjoy!
Dough Recipe Yields 12 to 14 empanadas
For the Filling
2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1 cup fresh mango, diced
1 cup pure cane sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup unsweetened toasted coconut
¾ cup coconut oil (with natural yellow coloring)
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
*extra pure cane sugar for dredging
Notes: The filling is enough for two batches of empanadas. You could freeze the extra in an airtight container or prepare a double batch of dough.
In a large skillet, combine all of the ingredients for the filling, minus the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook at medium/low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and mixture reduces. Use a potato masher to break down any large pieces of fruit that remain. Whisk the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water together until smooth. Stir into fruit mixture and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
For the dough: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together the wet ingredients and gradually mix them into the dry ingredients until dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 395 degrees F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper. Line a tortilla press with a plastic storage bag cut down to fit. Roll 6, golf ball size, dough balls and set aside. One at a time, gently press the dough ball to about 4 inches in diameter. Fill each with 1 full tablespoons of filling down left/center. Fold over and use fork to seal edges. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. While they are still warm, gently dredge through 1 cup of pure cane sugar. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 3 to 4 day shelf life.