Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Dark Brown Sugar, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add granulated sugar and water, gently stir. Heat pot over medium heat. Allow sugar mixture to come to a simmer. DO NOT STIR mixture. Gently swirl pot every minute or two. Using a silicone brush, brush down sides of pot to help prevent crystallization.
- Continue to allow sugar mixture to simmer and occasionally swirl pot until mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color (typically this can take between 8-12 minutes). Watch mixture to prevent burning.
- Add butter and whisk mixture until completely melted. (Beware: caramel will bubble up and rise rapidly. Continue to whisk.) Turn off stove and remove pot from heat.
- While whisking, slowly add heavy cream and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla extract and salt. Whisk together. Set pot aside and allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Transfer caramel to a glass jar and allow to cool completely in refrigerator for about 45-60 minutes before use.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar across bottom of cookie sheet and set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat, pour in pineapple chunks and stir for 1-2 minutes until all residual liquid is cooked off. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir mixture together coating pineapple thoroughly. Allow pineapple sugar mixture to come to a simmer.
- Continue to cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until sugar is melted, swirling pan to prevent burning. Once sugar is melted, remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes.
- While pineapple sugar mixture is cooling, begin to prepare empanadas. Remove homemade caramel mixture from refrigerator.
- Remove empanada dough from fridge. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll out dough, if needed, so it becomes more pliable. Add roughly 3 chunks of pineapple and a small spoonful of caramel sauce to center of dough. Fold dough over and using a fork, tightly pinch dough closed (careful not to pierce middle pocket). Place on cookie sheet and gently bend dough to form a crescent shape. Continue until all empanadas have been assembled and placed on baking sheet.
- Crack egg into a small bowl and add water. Whisk together. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush egg wash over dough and sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar over top of empanadas.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a healthy drizzle of caramel sauce.
Dixie Crystals Insight
*If using frozen pre-made empanada dough, place in refrigerator to allow to defrost before use. This recipe uses Goya Tapa Empanada Dough Shell.
Recipe developed for Dixie Crystals by Jessica Segarra @TheNoviceChef.