So this is another one of those clean-out-the-pantry kind of recipes. I had some fresh rhubarb to use up so I thought to myself, “Waterlily, how should we handle this?” So looking around, I found some shredded coconut left over from some German Chocolate Cakes and I had some Tapioca pearls that I had no idea that I had. Let’s throw this all together and make some empanadas! But somewhere along the line, I lost track of how big things should be and ended up making a half-pie or a calzone kind of thing. Just think of it as a “family sized” empanada!
And I was surprised with how they turned out and how the flavors worked together. You get some tartness from the rhubarb, some sweetness from the coconut, some chewiness from the tapioca, and the crispy, flaky crust.
Again, since the recipe falls under the category of clean-out-the-pantry, it’s a rough approximation, at least for the filling. The crust does have exact measurements, but like with any pie crust, it will vary depending on the humidity in your kitchen. Here’s what you need.
For the crust:
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks cold butter, cubed
- 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 c. cold water, at most
1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt together to combine.
2. Add the cubed butter and cream cheese. Pulse until the mixture becomes coarse, maybe 15 seconds or so. With the processor on, gradually stream the water through the feed tube until the crust starts to form a ball.
3. Turn the crust out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Divide the ball in half and form both halves into discs. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 1/16″ thick. Return to the refrigerator to chill whilst you make the filling.
For the filling:
- 2 c. chopped rhubarb
- 1 c. shredded coconut
- 1 c. unprepared tapioca pearls.
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. flour
1. Prepare the tapioca according to package directions (although I think I made up my own directions). Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, place the rhubarb, coconut, and tapioca. Sprinkle flour and sugar on top and toss to combine.
Make your empanadas:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In your prepared crust, spread about half the filling onto on half of the dough. Lightly brush some water onto the edge of the crust. Gently fold over the other half of the dough onto filling and crimp the edges or roll them over.
2. Brush the empanada with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Cut some vents in the top to release some steam. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Notes — I didn’t add a lot of flour because, in theory, the tapioca should help absorb the liquid released by the rhubarb. . . I thought that this would be good with just the coconut and the tapioca. . . Still working on taking nice pictures, but I was excited to include my peonies. They didn’t bloom last year. . .