Recipes from American Samoa: Paifala (Half Moon Pies)

Recipes from American Samoa

Paifala (Half Moon Pies)

Country: American Samoa
Course: Dessert

For the Filling

  • 2 cups drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup reserved juice from crushed pineapple

For the Piecrust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Combine the pineapple, sugar and milk into a saucepan and heat until simmering. Be careful not to boil or the milk will curdle.
  2. Now mix the cornstarch with the reserved pineapple juice until it is smooth, and add to the pineapple. Stir until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Put all of the dough ingredients into a bowl and blend until a dough forms. Divide the dough into five parts, then roll each part into an 8-inch circle.
  4. Spread some onto one half of each circle. Fold the other half over the top, stopping about a quarter inch from the edge. Fold the bottom quarter inch over the top edge, then crimp with a fork. Repeat until you've finished all of your pies.
  5. Prick a couple of holes in the top and put into a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.