Rio Grande Cafe Pineapple Empanadas

Rio Grande Cafe Restaurant Copycat

Tortilla Dough:
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm warm water

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Cut the shortening into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or work it in with your fingers.  With a fork, stir in warm water to form a sticky mass. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Divide the dough into two pieces and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit at room temperature for one hour.

Pineapple Filling:
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon banana liquor
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon softened butter

Place the diced pineapple in a mixing bowl. Measure the pineapple juice.  Measure the cornstarch and remove several tablespoons of pineapple juice in order to dissolve the cornstarch.  In a saute pan on medium high heat, place the remaining pineapple juice.  When the juice is boiling add rum and liquor. Add the cornstarch mixture while stirring rapidly with a whisk. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  Remove from the heat and add the butter.  Stir to melt. Place the mixture over the diced pineapple and stir well.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool fully.

Final Preparation of the Empanadas: Heat oil in fryer to 350 degrees. On a flour surface, roll out a one ounce ball of flour dough into a 6 inch round. Place about 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of a a round.  Fold over into a half moon shape and crimp edges with a fork. Place in a fryer until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve with ice cream, whip cream and powdered sugar.

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