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 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 Pineapple Filling:
2 cups finely chopped, fresh pineapple
¾ cup dark brown sugar or piloncillo, if available
¼ cup cold water
½ cup water, set aside
1 tablespoon cornstarch


1. Combine the anise seeds, cinnamon stick, and ½ cup of water. Steep (cook) in the microwave for  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.

2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour. While the dough is resting, make your pineapple filling. Let the filling cool slightly before using.

3. When filling is made and dough has rested, form 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, press edges together to seal empanada.

4. Transfer empanadas to a 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.

5. In a large nonstick skillet, add the pineapple and heat to medium heat. Add the brown sugar, stir well to combine. Lower the heat.

6. 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.

7. As the pineapple cooks down, it will get thicker, so take some of the reserved water and add a little at a time as you stir. Just cook the pineapple until it becomes thick and loses its cloudy appearance. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before using.

Note: My Tía Minerva's original recipe calls for a little pork lard mixed in with the shortening, yummy!

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



Other 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

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Tags: Dessert, Empanadas, pineapple, sonia


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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 cathy on September 10, 2013 at 4:11pm

yum im trying these for sure! thank you

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!

Comment by Delia Suarez on February 24, 2012 at 9:17am


Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on February 23, 2012 at 6:51am

A correction on this recipe: The dough can be pressed in a tortilla press, lined w/ wax paper or heavy, plastic storage bag(cut open on 3 sides). You can also use the bottom of a flat plate if you have no tortilla press.

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