These sweet empanadas or mini hand pies are filled with a pineapple jam and cream cheese filling. Use pre-made pie crust and cut out cute shapes to make this quick and fun dessert!
Every summer, mom would make a batch of fresh pineapple jam. When I was small, instead of appreciating this fragrant homemade treat, I fought to buy jelly-like readymade jam. A bright red “mixed fruit jam” was my favorite. I don’t even dare imagine what went into those jams.
I always thought that jam-making was a tedious process. But over the past few years, I’ve learnt that there’s really not much to it but the results are so delicious. Do check out my recipes for simple strawberry jam, saffron-cardamom mango jam, peach vanilla jam, cranberry and serrano pepper jam, and apricot jam made with dried Turkish apricots. Ever since I started my recent love affair with pineapples, I remembered the pineapple jam of my childhood and was eager to make some. I used Demerara sugar which gave this pineapple jam a richer, darker hue.
A large pineapple makes a lot of jam, so I decided to use some in a dessert. Pies came to mind. But I rarely make large pies or tarts. Something about the crust rolling and shaping gets me every time. Shortcrust pastry is actually pretty easy to make, but you can easily use refrigerated pie crust too. No shame in that. And instead of one large pie, I decided to make these cute mini pies.
I made a simple filling with my pineapple jam and some cream cheese. I decided to shape the pies like empanadas. Using pre-made pie crust is an easy way to make empanadas, either savory or sweet.
Once you cut out the shapes and make the filling, making these pineapple empanadas are super easy. Brush with an egg wash on top and sprinkle some coarse sugar on top before baking.
I love those crunchy bits of sugar baked on top of the empanadas. The crust is buttery and flaky, the filling is sweet and creamy, a real treat!
Do you see those cute little hearts? I used a cookie cutter to make them. These mini heart pies would be super cute for a kid’s birthday party, Valentine’s Day or even as a Mother’s Day dessert.
I even surprised the kiddo with a heart-shaped pineapple hand pie in his lunch box for a few days. You can also make mini pies with any kind of jam. But do try it with pineapples now that it is in season.
Read on for the easy recipe for thee pineapple cream cheese empanadas. These pies can be made in under half an hour if you have pre-made pie dough and pineapple jam. I will be giving you guys the easy pineapple jam recipe as well.
- Pineapple - 3 cups, chopped
- Demerara sugar - 1½ - 2 cups
- Lemon juice - 2 tbsp, freshly squeezed
- Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp
- Nutmeg - 1 pinch, grated
- Pineapple jam - 1 cup
- Cream cheese - ½ cup, softened
- Readymade pie crust - 2 numbers
- Egg - 1, for egg wash
- Coarse sugar - 2-3 tbsp, to sprinkle on top
- Pineapple Jam: Mix together pineapple, sugar and lemon juice in a deep, thick-bottomed pan. (Use 1½ cups of sugar if fruit is very sweet or more sugar as needed).
- Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Now reduce heat and cook till jam comes together and the mixture is reduced. Stir in between and mash some (but not all) of the fruit pieces with the back of a ladle or a clean, dry potato masher. (See notes for checking doneness of the jam.)
- Sprinkle cardamom powder and nutmeg and stir well.
- Once done, remove from heat immediately. Spoon jam into clean, sterilized glass jars, cool completely, cover tightly with lid and refrigerate.
- Pineapple Empanadas (Hand Pies): Pre-heat oven to 350 deg.F. Line a couple of large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the jam and cream cheese to make a creamy filling.
- Lightly flour the working surface and roll out the pie crusts. Cut out circles of 3" diameter. Re-roll scraps and use.
- Place 1-2 tsp filling in the center of each circle. Lightly moisten the edges with water, fold over and seal. Crimp edges with a fork. Make a couple of small slits on top.
- Make egg wash by whisking the egg with 2 tsp water. Brush the tops of shaped empanadas with egg wash. Sprinkle some coarse sugar on top.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or till golden in color. Remove from oven and cool before storing in airtight containers.
2. Before starting, place a couple of small plates in the freezer. To check if jam is done, place a blob of hot jam mixture on the cold plate. Cool it for a few seconds in the freezer and run a finger across it. If the mixture gels and you are able to run your finger through it without it being runny, the jam is done. Else, cook for a couple more minutes and test again.
3. You can also test using the spoon method. Dip a metal spoon into the hot jam mixture and allow it to slide off the spoon. Initially, it will fall off as individual drops. When jam is done, it will slide off the spoon as one mass (or a sheet).
4. Always remember that the jam will thicken when cool. So take care not to overcook it.
5. To make smaller hand pies like the heart-shaped ones, use cookie cutters to cut out dough shapes. Place a little filling on one shape, cover with another piece and crimp edges closed. Bake smaller shapes for 12-15 minutes.
Enjoy these cute mini pineapple pies as a special treat or dessert.
Don’t forget to PIN & SAVE this recipe for later.
Do try this easy hand pie recipe for Cinco de Mayo or Mother’s Day next month.
Do you make jam at home? Do you use them in any recipes? Have you tried sweet empanadas? Do share.
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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.