Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day which is actually on September 16. Supposedly, Cinco de Mayo actually marks the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Whatever the case may be, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a pretty big holiday in the U.S. and even though we don’t have any Mexican blood in us, it’s become a tradition for me to fix a big Mexican dinner for the family every year on the 5th of May.
One of my family’s favorite Latin desserts is Empanadas de Piña or Pineapple Empanadas. I think traditionally, the pineapple used for these empanadas is fresh pineapple that is cut into little chunks and cooked with sugar, but I find that pineapple jam is a great time-saver and works just as well. If you’ve never tried dessert empanadas, you should give this recipe a go. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
EMPANADAS DE PIÑA
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks butter, cut into pieces
- 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1 10-oz. jar pineapple preserves
- white sugar for rolling the empanadas
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place flour, butter and cream cheese into the bowl of a food processor and process just until the dough comes together.
- Turn dough out onto work surface and gather into a ball.
- Roll out to about 1/8-inch thick and cut out circles with a biscuit cutter or an overturned glass.
- Place 1 teaspoon preserves in center of each dough circle.
- Moisten along edge of half a circle with water and fold dough over to form a half moon.
- Press down all along edge with tines of a fork to seal well.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or till golden brown.
- Remove from oven and roll in sugar until completely coated, shaking off any excess sugar.
- Transfer to a platter to cool completely.
(Makes about 24 empanadas, depending on how big you cut out your circles of dough. I usually cut out 3-1/2 inch circles. This recipe can easily be doubled to make more.)