Hispanic Kitchen

Spice It Up!

These perfect little empanadas filled with homemade pineapple filling is a family recipe that was shared with me by my Tía Minerva. On my last trip to Mexico, in 2011, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a whole month with her. We cooked together and she told me stories of my grandparents and their life together that I had never known. These family recipes hold a very special place in my heart.
Yields 24 small empanadas

For the Dough:
3½ cups flour
1¼ cups shortening
½ cup water
½ teaspoon anise seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for dusting
For the Pineapple Filling:
2 cups finely chopped, fresh pineapple
¾ cup dark brown sugar or piloncillo, if available
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup cold water
1½ tablespoons cornstarch

Since my trip to Mexico in 2011, I feel a lot more confident when I prepare this recipe. The only thing added to the original recipe was a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the pineapple filling for a little extra tang.


1. Combine the anise seeds, cinnamon stick, and ½ cup of water. Steep (cook) in the microwave for 1½ minutes, strain and set aside. Melt the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl, add the tea and stir gently stir. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, until the dough forms and is no longer sticky. You may need to add a little more flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest.

2. While the dough is resting, make your pineapple filling. In a large nonstick skillet, add the fresh pineapple and heat to medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, stir well to combine. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. In a small bowl, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water. Mix together, making sure there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the cooking pineapple, stir well and stir often so it does not burn. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let filling cool.

3. When filling is cool and dough has rested, form  20 to 24 (1½-inch) dough balls and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Take one dough ball at a time and press in tortilla press lined with wax paper, fill with 1½ to 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over, and using a fork, or your fingers, press edges together to seal empanada.

4. Transfer empanadas to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. While still slightly warm, roll in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Yields 24 small empanadas.

Tips~ I like to place the empanadas under the broiler just long enough to brown the tops of the empanadas before removing from oven.

Below: My Tía Minerva working the dough... photo from my trip to Monterrey, Mexico.Filling the empanadas... pictures from my trip to Mexico.
Empanadas ready for the oven...from my trip to MexicoWarm out of the oven ... then we just dredge them in some cinnamon and sugar!



More recipes by Sonia:

Mexican Red Rice
Cheesy Chorizo Bread
Empanadas de Pollo
Pork Chile Colorado
Frijoles Borrachos con Chorizo
Pork Chile Verde
Lemon Pepper Chicken Fajitas
Simply Seasoned Shrimp
Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Chip Chimichangas

Views: 55414

Tags: Dessert, Empanadas, pineapple, sonia


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Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on June 14, 2014 at 7:41pm

Hi Abbey! I would let the dough rest at least 30 minutes, but there have been days when I left it out for a few hours, lol! As long as it's not too hot. You want it to be room temperature so it's easier to work with.

Comment by Abby Torres-Soto on June 14, 2014 at 7:19pm

Hi Sonia; These look delicious!  One question, how long do you let the dough rest?

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on June 9, 2014 at 7:13am

Nydia, I beleive you just click "favorite" right under views and this will save the recipe for you.

Comment by Nydia Nidi Jones Crespo on June 9, 2014 at 1:26am
How do I save your recipes?
Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on June 6, 2014 at 3:32pm

The ice cream pairing sounds delicious Shirley! I have made them with mango, but with fresh mango. I must try and cook it down sometime like the piña. Thanks for your feedback!

Comment by Shirley Castillo Vanderau on June 6, 2014 at 3:29pm

Oh I love these and pumpkin to..I bet they would be good with Mango in it and serve them with coconut or dulce de leche icecream..

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on September 10, 2013 at 4:26pm

You are welcome Cathy....it's almost that time for empanadas.....love this time of year.

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on September 4, 2013 at 4:04pm

My tia told me you could roll it or press it, but since I have limited counter space, I like to press this dough. I would imagine if you just dust the surface lightly with flour it should be fine...:)

Comment by Yolanda Rios on September 4, 2013 at 3:56pm

Is it ok to just roll the dough out?

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on February 24, 2012 at 9:32am

Gracias Delia!!!! Saludos!

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