Strawberry Rhubarb Empanadas

We all know of my salacious love of cheese, but I don’t think we have yet discussed my addiction to strawberries. And nothing satisfies my withdrawal symptoms more than fresh, in season berries. This time of year, I eat so many of them, my fingertips turn red…and then I practically gnaw off my skin in an attempt to get every last bit of strawberry flavor (no I don’t have a problem…fruit is healthy for you). So it was with glee that I discovered the newest Cookthink Root Source Challenge was strawberries!

I have no idea why, but the first thought that popped into my head after seeing the challenge ingredient was empanadas. I have had my fair share of homemade empanadas, but they have all had savory fillings. Since an empanada is a turnover with a Latina kick, I thought I’d give a sweeter filling a try. I tossed in the rhubarb because since making the Strawberry Rhubarb pie, I have been in love with the pairing of sweet and tart. Add a bit of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg to the empanada dough and you have a great case for the oh so sinfully delicious one-two combo of strawberry and rhubarb.

For the empanada dough:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 large egg

1 egg white

1/2 cup cold water

3 tablespoons cold shortening

For the filling:

1 pint strawberries, diced

1 stalk rhubarb, diced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean pod

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 cup corn starch

1/4 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds, chopped

1 teaspoon allspice

Optional egg wash:

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cut the shortening into cubes and work them into the dough until the flour mixture becomes crumbly. In a separate, smaller bowl whisk together the egg, egg white, vinegar and water. Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. With a fork, combine the wet and dry ingredients until a solid dough is formed. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the just formed dough until it’s smooth. Put in a Ziploc bag (or plastic wrap) and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Right before you’re ready to roll out the dough, start on the filling. In a bowl, combine the diced strawberries and rhubarb, along with the sugars, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, allspice, nuts and corn starch. Set aside and begin rolling out the dough.

Lightly flour the work surface again (I know, I know, you just cleaned up this damn work surface and now I want to flour it up again) and roll it out until it’s 1/8 of an inch in width (or very thin for those who are measurement challenged). Cut out four inch diameter circles using either a biscuit or cookie cutter or some other circular object. This recipe will make ten dough “discs”. Spoon a small amount of the filling into the center of the disc and fold the dough over until the filling is covered and a semi-circle is formed. Crimp the edges closed with a fork and place the empanada on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Follow the same process for the remaining dough discs and place the formed empanadas in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

Before the chilling time is done, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the top of each empanada with a fork to allow the dough to breath during the baking process (thus forming a flakier crust). You can brush the tops with an egg wash (1 egg and 2 tablespoons of water whisked together) but it’s not necessary. Bake the empanadas for 18 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Because I love the combination of chocolate and strawberries, I garnished my empanadas with a chocolate ganache, but this is my own sad addiction. I won’t pull the rest of you down with me.

16 Comments

Filed under Baking, Contests, Dessert, sweet tarts

16 responses to “Strawberry Rhubarb Empanadas

  1. I should have come over earlier on Saturday! Argh!

  2. You live, you learn…and always carry a fork!

  3. As soon as I have a little bling, we need to hit up the Farmer’s Market.

    Also, as we are doing lunch this weekend, we need to decide on where we should go. I was thinking maybe some sort of cafe setting? We could do a review! :X

  4. Wow, that looks amazing…but it may be too complicated for me just yet.

  5. I could definitely eat my fair share of these!! Delicious!

  6. Nice idea to make a sweet empanada. Looks delicious!

  7. Oh, go ahead. Pull! Pull!

  8. i’m sorry, but can i marry you?

    that looks amazing. o no. it really looks so good and i really like empanadas. looks perfect .great job.

  9. Sweet & Saucy – Thanks! It combines my loves: dough and strawberries!

    Jackie – It’s really not that hard to make! Seriously…baking is a lot easier than people think. You don’t even need a mixer!

    Deborah – Each empanada is pretty big, so I could only down two…which is really piggy of me.

    Hillary – Thanks! Think of them as portable strawberry rhubarb pies :)

    Lacochran – Hehehe…I think this whole blog is me pulling everyone else down with me!

    Diva – Liz wants to move in with me, so at least you want to make an honest woman of me :) I love empanadas, so I’m always thinking of creative ways to fill them. This just came to me while I was trying to resist the urge to go face first into my bowl of strawberries.

  10. Oh my goodness! So creative and so beautiful. My mouth is totally watering. I’m making empanadas next weekend for party. They’ll be savory, but now you’ve got me thinking of all the awesome things I can do with sweet empanadas. Brilliant! How are you liking you SLR? I just got the new Canon Rebel Xsi and I’m trying to get it all figured out… so, that’s all!

  11. That strawberry and rhubarb empanada looks and sounds really good! Strawberries are one of my favorites as well.

  12. Bonnie

    These look great and I was planning to make them this weekend…but do you really mean 3 TB of shortening? That doesn’t seem like nearly enough with 3 cups of flour. Thanks!

  13. Joy – I am still learning everything about my camera. In fact, I am attending a Canon 6 hour workshop in two weeks strictly for the Canon Xti and Xsi cameras (believe it or not it came with the purchase of the camera) to help me with the features.

    Kevin – It’s very delicious…and even more so when you fry them instead of baking them (I tried this recipe again but fried them instead and it was yummy).

    Bonnie – No, it really is 3 tablespoons of shortening. The empanada dough is a family recipe and before I made these, I double checked the measurements. Work the shortening into the dough with your fingers. It really does work, I promise.

    And you can fry them instead of baking them (use a nice amount of vegetable oil and heat it up to about 375 degrees and place the empanadas in the oil. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side and then spoon them out). Let me know what you think!

  14. Pingback: Cookthink: Root Source: Strawberry

  15. Sweden-Emma

    WOW :D they sounds just delicious (: I think I’m gonna try to make them,. but I’m not shure it’ll work :O cause I’m not that good on english :P

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