Saturday, July 12, 2008

Strawberry Rhubarb Empanadas

A couple of my friends were working out of town for a while so to celebrate their joyous (and short) return, we decided to have a potluck. We settled on a tapas them and then I went on a recipe hunt. The catch was that it was going to have to be something I could make ahead of time because we were going to be coming from a play. I saw the recipe for Rhubarb and Strawberry Empanadas a while back. I thought they looked interesting, but even though I saved the recipe, I didn't think I would actually ever make them. Then, at the farmer's market I got some awesome strawberries and settled on this recipe for the potluck. I under estimated how much time they would take, but I'm sure happy I tried them. They leaked a bit, but I think it actually added some nice color to the outside since I am not a natural pastry chef and they definitely came out lumpy and weird looking. The strawberries were nice and sweet and the rhubarb added a great tartness.

Empanada Dough
(Adapted from Epicurious)

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 stick (1/2 c) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/3 c ice water
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea size butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. Mixture will be shaggy.

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with the heel of your hand once or twice to bring the dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour.

Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Empanadas
(adapted from Laylita's Recipes)

1 pint organic strawberries, chopped (about 1 1/2 c)
1 stalked rhubarb, chopped (about 1 1/2 c)
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg, lightly whisked with water
organic turbinado raw cane sugar for sprinkling

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange juice, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Mix well and let rest for one hour.

Drain the liquid from the strawberries and rhubarb.

Cut dough into twelve pieces. Roll a piece into a ball with your hands and roll into a disc form about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Spoon the drained rhubarb and strawberry mixture into each empanada disc. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal the empanadas. Chill the empanadas for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush each empanada with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

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