These rhubarb and strawberry empanadas or sweet turnovers are perfect to celebrate spring (and summer). It’s probably pretty obvious by now that I really like empanadas, and most of the time I make savory empanadas. As a kid I obviously preferred the sweet empanadas stuffed with yummy fruit inside, so every now and then I want a sweet empanada either for dessert or breakfast or as an afternoon snack with some café con leche. I’m also trying to incorporate all the yummy things I get at the farmer’s market into my cooking, so while the original plan was to use strawberries as the filling when I saw the bright red stalks of rhubarb I had to add them -partly out of curiosity because I have heard all about how strawberries and rhubarb make this great combination, but had never tasted it before.
Easy recipe for homemade rhubarb and strawberry empanadas. These sweet dessert empanadas or turnovers are filled with rhubarb and strawberry, baked, and served with whipped cream.
- 15-18 medium or 25-30 small sweet empanada discs made from basic sweet empanada dough
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 3 cups chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar, adjust based on your preference
- 2 tbs orange juice
- 1 tbs cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 1 egg, yolk and white separated and lightly whisked
- 1/4 cup demerara sugar for sprinkling on top
- Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange juice and cornstarch in a large bowl, mix well and let rest for an hour.
- Drain the liquid from the strawberries and rhubarb.
- To assemble the empanadas spoon the rhubarb and strawberry mixture on the center of the empanada disc.
- Brush the edges of the empanada disc with the egg whites.
- Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal the empanadas.
- Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when baked.
- Sprinkle the demerara sugar on the top of the empanadas.
- Chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes, this will help them seal better and prevent leaks.
- Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 30 minutes or until golden.
- Serve either warm or cold with whipped cream.
Of course the first thing I did when I got home was try a piece of rhubarb, yuck, so sour, though it reminded me of a small plant that used to grow close the water canals on our farm in Ecuador. This plant had small and very thin green reddish stalks that I don’t how or why but I tasted them and they were very sour, yet almost refreshing, but essentially still tasted like something a normal person wouldn’t eat. I was skeptical but if “everyone” thought rhubarb, strawberries and sugar were great then I had to try it, so I chopped a few more pieces of rhubarb, added some chopped strawberries, sugar and cooked it for a few minutes, and it actually tasted quite good.
At first I was going to cook the rhubarb and strawberries to make the filling, but when I did my little taste test I noticed how quickly they both cooked, which meant that just the heat of the oven while they were baking would be sufficient, so I just mixed them with sugar, orange juice and cornstarch and let them marinate for an hour. I drained the rhubarb and strawberry mixture to remove as much liquid as possible, because I didn’t want it leaking out, however despite that and despite trying to seal the empanadas they still leaked while they were baking. I’ve gotten a lot better at keeping cheese from leaking from empanadas, but need to work on the fruit ones. Though it is not really a big deal if fruit empanadas leak when baking, usually it is just the juices that leak out – and they leave a nice color on the edges, plus the empanadas still taste great.
I served these strawberry and rhubarb empanadas with some Grand Marnier (orange liqueur) whipped cream, I have one of those cool cream whippers where you just mix all the ingredients and then put them in the whipper container, charge it and done. I used 2 cups of heavy cream, 3 tbs of sugar and 2 tbs of Grand Marnier, and it was just right, not too sweet and with a hint of orange liqueur.
Step by step preparation photos for strawberry and rhubarb empanadas