It’s that time of year when I scrambling to finish holiday recipe assignments so that I can concentrate on my Christmas baking. The rush is all part of the fun, even though it does not seem like it at the time. For today’s post I share with you my two favorite empanadas that I like to share with family and friends for Christmas. Piña, pineapple, of course! And cajeta or dulce de leche (caramel) empanadas. I just prepared some pineapple filling last night and hoping to start my baking tomorrow!
Empanadas de Piña ~ The Original Recipe I learned from my family to prepare all sweet empanadas, including pumpkin, pineapple and cajeta(ducle de leche). The dough is a bit more rustic and delicate to work with, but it works! It really does come together in the end. The texture is slightly different from the other recipe. It will have more of a shortbread texture in the beginning and will soften a bit once stored in an airtight container.
Pineapple Empanadas(Empanadas de Piña)
Essential for the holidays are these two empanadas! Pineapple and cajeta(dulcede leche).Print Pin Rate
Servings: 24 empanadas
- 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.
The key to preparing a good empanada is to find the recipe that works best for you. it should be an enjoyable experience, not stressful. Lol! Invest in an inexpensive digital scale for your kitchen. Weighing out the flour and shortening is what helped me to prepare a better dough recipe.
Tried this recipe?Mention @pinaenlacocina or tag #pinaenlacocina!
The picture above was taken in Monterrey, Mexico in December 2011. I was visiting famlia and my sweet Tia Miné prepared the family recipe for pineapple empanadas. I was thrilled to see them come together, step by step. She passed away suddenly this past year and now these recipes are that much more special to me.
After a bit of practice, the pinch and fold method will become easier. You could brush with egg wash before sealing, but I did not do that this time.
I like to space my empanadas out, just in case any of them leak.
The dough will tear in places, but the filling should stay in place.
Once you dredge them in the cinnamon and sugar, it covers up any little holes.
Cajeta Con Nuez-Pecan and Dulce de Leche
3 cups of Mexican cajeta or dulce de leche
3 large egg yolks
3 large egg yolks
1/2 to 3/4 cup crushed pecans
Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated. This will be your cajeta(dulce de leche filling). Follow directions for filling and baking empanadas.
[…] Get this recipe from Piña en la Cocina. […]
You are so talented! The other day I made carne en su jugo and my family loved it! And super easy on a weeknight. So glad I found you!
That’s wesome to hear Loretta! Thank you following along! Thanks for the feedback!
Thank you for sharing. I am anxious to try the dough as it reminds me of flavors I’ve had before in empanadas but have been unable to duplicate and both fillings look delicious!
Thanks Diane! It is the recipe I use when I want the empanadas that i grew up with.
Sorry to read of your Gma. I too have been looking for pandaria soft dough. I cannot get the recipe to print. Can you advise?
I just printed the pineapple empanada recipe with no problem? Is that the recipe you were trying to print?
Do you happen to have the original recipe for empanadas con cerveza
You can find that empanada dough recipe on my post for empanadas de pollo(chicken empanadas). That same dough I use for pineapple and other fruit empanadas. it was shared with me years ago by my tia Minerva from Monterrey.
Looking for pumpkin filling. Hope you have a recipe for that. Thank you for you pie crust recipe.
Pumpkin filling recipe is on my blog. Did you do a search for pumpkin empanadas or empanadas de calabaza? Calabaza en Tacha
My mother’s name was Minerva! Not a very common name. When I read the name of your Tia, it made me smile from the fond memories of cooking with my mother.
My tia Miné was a person I always looked up to my whole life. When she passed away suddenly, it was a sad day. I am happy the mention of her name brought you happy memories.
I made 315 of these over the weekend and they came out super delicious!! Thank you for sharing the recipe!! ❤️
315??? Wow! That’s a lot of empanadas! You go girl!! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!