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Paifala (Samoan Pineapple Half-Moon Pies)

Paifala (Samoan Pineapple Half-Moon Pies) recipe for #SundaySupper's Pies, Sweet and Savory, Event! A flaky, coconut-based crust is filled with a sweet pineapple filling and baked until golden.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Samoan
Keyword pie, pineapple, Samoa, Samoan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 5 Pies



  • 2 cups drained, crushed pineapple (reserve the juice)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) milk
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) drained juice from the crushed pineapple


  • 3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) coconut milk


To make the filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple, sugar, and milk over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until it comes to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and pineapple juice. Stir into the saucepan mixture and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

To make the crust:

  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a dough blade, forks, or your fingers just until the texture becomes coarse. Mix in the coconut milk just enough to bring together the dough. Add a little more coconut milk if too crumbly or a little flour if too sticky. Do not knead or overwork.
  • Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.
  • Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll a piece of dough into a thin circle about 8 inches wide. Fill the center with the cooled pineapple filling, leaving a border around the edges. Be careful not to overfill or you won't be able to close the pies or they may burst while baking.
  • Lightly wet the edges of the circle with a finger dipped in water. Fold the circle over the filling to make a half moon, pressing along the edges to seal. Use a fork, dampened with water to prevent sticking, to press down along the edges and pierce a few times over the top to create vents. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Arrange the pies on the prepared baking sheets, keeping them an inch apart. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 35 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. Remove and allow to cool before serving, either as whole pies or cut into thick strips. If desired, you can sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar.