How To Make Pina Empanadas - An Easy Comprehensive Guide

How To Make Pina Empanadas – An Easy Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Zara R.

This guide on how to make pina empanadas will take your through the steps to create a flavor-packed juicy filling and crunchy yet soft pastry.

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What Are Pina Empanadas?

Before we look at exactly how to make pina empanadas, it’s important to clarify exactly what these treats are. “Pina empanadas” is an unofficial Western term used to describe pineapple empanadas.

Other names they go by (officially) are empanadas de pina, Mexican pineapple empanadas, and pineapple turnovers.

An empanada is a type of turnover that can either be baked or fried. It consists of a pastry and a flavorful filling. Traditionally, these turnovers are Latin American-based, but today you can find them made all over the world.

There are virtually an endless amount of different empanadas you can make. And, all you have to do is change the filling. But naturally, there are some traditional recipes that will always stay relevant.

There are 3 traditional fillings used for empanadas. The first is called “leche”, referring to a milk-based filling similar to Bavarian cream. Then, you get “coco”, which refers to a coconut filling. And finally, which we will look at today, you get “pina” which is a pineapple filling.

How To Make Pina Empanadas – Elements Needed

So, there are only really two elements you need for this tutorial on how to make pina empanadas.

Pastry

The first is the pastry. Homemade dough is very simple and often only contains flour, salt, eggs, butter, and cold water.

The dough should be elastic, soft, and pliable. But, it should still be able to hold its shape once you roll it out.

While the dough isn’t particularly flavorful, it does help if it is a little bit salted. It creates a delicious balance in flavor, especially with sweet fillings.

Pineapple filling

Then, naturally, you need a pineapple filling. The filling can be simple or very complex. We like to go for something in the middle.

Pineapple is naturally very sweet, so we like to pair it with some warm spices. You can also make the recipe using fresh, canned, frozen, or preserved (sweetened) pineapple.

Personally, fresh pineapple will always give you the best juicy texture and tropical flavor. But, depending on where you are in the world, they may be difficult to find and expensive.

So, let’s have a look at exactly how to make pina empanadas the quick and easy way without compromising flavor.

What You Will Need For This Pineapple Empanada Recipe

Ingredients for the dough

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3 cups bread flour plus extra for dusting, sifted
  • Vegetable oil for frying, optional

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch fine salt

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric hand or stand mixer
  • Plastic or saran wrap
  • Medium saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Lined baking sheet, for the baking method
  • Deep fryer and paper towel, for frying method
 

How To Make Pina Empanadas – An In-Depth Guide

Step 1: Make the empanada pastry

To start, cream the softened butter in a large bowl until it becomes fluffy and light in color. Then, add the cream cheese and mix it in. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl so the ingredients merge well.

Finally, add the sifted flour on a low speed and mix until a dough comes together.

Divide the dough and wrap each half with plastic or saran wrap. Allow them to rest for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough becomes easier to work with.

Step 2: Make the pineapple filling

While the dough is resting, make your pina filling. To start, place the chopped pineapple and sugar into a medium saucepan. Heat the pineapple over medium heat so that the pineapple softens and the juices start to thicken. Stir the mixture now and then and allow it to cook for roughly 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the water and cornstarch to make a slurry. once your pineapple mixture starts simmering, add the slurry and spices.

Give the ingredients another good stir. Then, bring the filling to a simmer so that you can cook out the cornstarch.

Then, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Step 3: Assemble the empanadas

Divide the rested dough into palm-sized balls. Then, lightly dust the surface of your counter. Roll out each ball into a relatively perfect disc. It should be about 4 to 5-inches in diameter.

Then, take about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of pina filling and add it to one half of the pastry disc. Leave a bit of an edge open and clean so that the other half can be folded and pinched over.

Once your filling is added, fold over the other half of the dough tightly. Then, pinch the edges together to create a tight seal.

Repeat this process until your dough is finished. You can store leftover filling in the fridge or freezer.

What kind of dough is used for empanadas

Step 4: Bake or fry the empanadas

To bake these empanadas, preheat your oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

To deep-fry, the pineapple empanadas, heat your oil to 360ºF (180ºC), and fry each for 5-8 minutes. They need to be fried until they are golden brown and cooked. Then, drain them on a paper towel before serving them.

Tips And Tricks

  • Resting your pastry does two things. The first is that it helps make the dough easier to work with. The second is that it helps relax the gluten strands. This makes the dough easier to work with and more pliable.
  • You can use any type of pineapple that is most convenient to you. if you use frozen ones, just cook them for longer to get rid of the excess liquid.
  • The secret to how to make pina empanadas is filling them properly. Don’t overfill them. Otherwise, they may burst open as you bake or fry them. But, don’t add too little filling that you cannot taste anything.
  • You can toss these in sugar (or cinnamon sugar) if you want to. It adds a crunchy texture and more sweetness.

Preparation Times And Servings

What are 3 types of empanadas

In Conclusion – The Ultimate Guide For How To Make Pina Empanadas

This guide on how to make pina empanadas allows you to be flexible with how you want to make yours. You can alter the filling and even the way you cook them.

If you enjoyed this article, let us know in the comments below. And, go check out some of our delicious new recipes on our site!

FAQs

What are 3 types of empanadas?

The three traditional types of empanadas include ones made with a pineapple filling (pina), a coconut filling (coco), and milk or cream-based filling (leche). But, there are thousands of different savory and sweet fillings that can be made and used today.

Is it better to fry or bake empanadas?

Neither is better and both have their pros and cons. Baking empanadas take a lot longer to do, but it will evenly cook the dough and give it a beautiful color. Frying empanadas allow you to quickly cook them while giving them an uber crispy texture. But, it is an unhealthy way to cook them.

Is empanada dough the same as pie dough?

It depends on which type of pie dough you are talking about. Empanada dough is not the same as a sweet pie pastry or a flaky pie dough. So, they aren't exactly the same, but it could be similar to a quick pie dough recipe that is made with basically flour and water.

What kind of dough is used for empanadas?

Empanadas are made using an extremely simple unleavened flour-based dough. It can even just be made using flour and water. But, because we never go for average, ours are a little richer and will give you a more tender yet crispy texture.

How To Make Pina Empanadas - An Easy Comprehensive Guide

This guide on how to make pina empanadas will take your through the steps to create a flavor-packed juicy filling and crunchy yet soft pastry.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Baking Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make pina empanadas, Is empanada dough the same as pie dough?, Is it better to fry or bake empanadas?, What are 3 types of empanadas?, What kind of dough is used for empanadas?
Servings: 12 empanadas

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric hand or stand mixer
  • Plastic or saran wrap
  • Medium saucepan
  • Lined baking sheet, for the baking method
  • Deep fryer and paper towel, for frying method

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the dough

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3 cups bread flour plus extra for dusting, sifted
  • Vegetable oil for frying, optional

Ingredients for the filling

Instructions

  • Make the empanada pastry
    To start, cream the softened butter in a large bowl until it becomes fluffy and light in color. Then, add the cream cheese and mix it in. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl so the ingredients merge well.
    Finally, add the sifted flour on a low speed and mix until a dough comes together.
    Divide the dough and wrap each half with plastic or saran wrap. Allow them to rest for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough becomes easier to work with.
    1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature, 1 cup 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature, 3 cups bread flour plus extra for dusting, sifted
  • Make the pineapple filling
    While the dough is resting, make your pina filling. To start, place the chopped pineapple and sugar into a medium saucepan. Heat the pineapple over medium heat so that the pineapple softens and the juices start to thicken. Stir the mixture now and then and allow it to cook for roughly 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, whisk together the water and cornstarch to make a slurry. once your pineapple mixture starts simmering, add the slurry and spices.
    Give the ingredients another good stir. Then, bring the filling to a simmer so that you can cook out the cornstarch.
    Then, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
    1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped, 1/4 - 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons of water, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise, Pinch cloves, Pinch fine salt
  • Assemble the empanadas
    Divide the rested dough into palm-sized balls. Then, lightly dust the surface of your counter. Roll out each ball into a relatively perfect disc. It should be about 4 to 5-inches in diameter.
    Then, take about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of pina filling and add it to one half of the pastry disc. Leave a bit of an edge open and clean so that the other half can be folded and pinched over.
    Once your filling is added, fold over the other half of the dough tightly. Then, pinch the edges together to create a tight seal.
    Repeat this process until your dough is finished. You can store leftover filling in the fridge or freezer.
  • Bake or fry the empanadas
    To bake these empanadas, preheat your oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
    To deep-fry, the pineapple empanadas, heat your oil to 360ºF (180ºC), and fry each for 5-8 minutes. They need to be fried until they are golden brown and cooked. Then, drain them on a paper towel before serving them.
    Vegetable oil for frying, optional
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