Recipe by Jeannette Avila Valverde, Translated and adapted by Annette Kolnitys
Ingredients for dough:
2 sticks of margarine or butter
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 box of cream cheese
Ingredients for filling:
3 cups of fresh pineapple (or or canned pineapple)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of pineapple juice (or can juice)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
Ingredients for prep:
2 egg whites
1. Combine flour, cream cheese and all-purposes flour. Mix well, using your hands if necessary. Form a ball and cover with saran-wrap. Refrigerate at least four hours, or overnight.
2. Cut pineapple into chunks and shred. In a medium pan, add the pineapple, sugar and salt. Dissolve the cornstarch in the pineapple juice and add to the mixture. (If using canned pineapple, you will have likely already added the "pineapple juice" - just dissolve in a bit of water before adding). On medium heat, heat mixture until it boils, stirring occasionally. When at a boil add raisins, if desired, butter and lemon juice. Mix well and continue cooking until filling has thickened. Cool a bit before using.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Roll out the dough on a clean, floured surface. With a medium circular cutter (I've used the top of a sour-cream tub and the opening of a very large cup), cut circles out of the dough. Work the dough a bit, stretching it a tad to form an oval. Add a spoonful of filling (you'll need less than you thought!) and fold dough over, pinching the ends closed with your fingers. Continue with all of the other circles of dough. Place empanadas on a greased cookie sheet. Brush empanadas with egg whites and use a fork to create decorative edging. Cook for about 15 minutes or until golden.
I hope you enjoy this recipe - it takes a bit of time but is worth it! Plus, the dough is so easy to make and the filling is so good (my mom kept sneaking some with a spoon when I made it at home). Depending on the size of your empanadas, you may have extra filling - you can use it for an ice cream topping or freeze it for the next time you make emapanadas. I learned this recipe while studying abroad in Costa Rica, and I love these empanadas- they make great snacks no matter what country you are in.
Before they bake
Forming the empanadas
Linked to www.flamingotoes.com