Pineapple Empanadas(Empanadas de Piña)
- 1 1/4 cups shortening, 8 ounces
- 3/4 cup water, 6 ounces
- ½ teaspoon anise seeds
- 1- inch piece cinnamon stick
- 3½-4 cups flour 1 lb flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup sugar plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon for dusting
For Pineapple Filling
- 5 full cups finely chopped fresh pineapple
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar if available
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth
- Dough: Combine the anise seeds, cinnamon stick, and water. Cook in the microwave for 1½ minutes. Let steep for a few minutes, strain and set aside. Transfer the shortening to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to soften. To the shortening, mix in the strained cinnamon/anise tea and gently stir.
- In another bowl whisk together 3 1/2 cups of flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Reserve the remaining 1/2 c of flour.
- Gradually mix in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until the dough forms and is no longer sticky. Knead on a flat surface for 5 to 7 minutes. If the dough feels sticky while kneading, add minimal reserved flour and work it in. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest.
- Pineapple filling. In a large nonstick skillet, add the fresh pineapple and heat to medium heat. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Taste for sweetness as it cooks down. Mix in the vanilla. mix your cornstarch slurry and gradually mix that in to the hot pineapple. It should become thick and very sticky after a minute. If you can run a spoon through the center with no liquid showing in the center, then it’s done. Let cool.
- Fill: When filling is cool and dough has rested, form 24 to 28 (1½-inch) dough balls and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Take one dough ball at a time and roll out to about 4 inches. Fill with 1½ to 2 tablespoons of filling, fold over, and using a fork, or your fingers, press edges together to seal empanada. Do not overfill.
- Bake: Transfer empanadas to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. If you like them a little more brown on top, cook under the broiler for less than one minute. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. While still slightly warm, roll in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Yields 24 to 28 small empanadas.
3 large egg yolks