I walked by the nest, glancing in out of habit, checking in to see if the baby birds were still all there, counting their heads each time. They had grown so big and raised a ruckus at feeding time, the cacophony always drawing me closer with a smile. But before I had a chance to peek in the nest, I noticed that all was silent in their little corner of the garden, and as I approached, I understood why.
They were gone.
The baby birds have left the nest, and I felt like an empty nester. It was all too soon, they grew up way too fast! And so I called my husband to let him know, and to remind him that perhaps it was time to remove the nest when he gets a chance, kind of like how we tease our kids that we will renovate their bedrooms when they leave for college.
(Oh boy, don’t get me started on that. We’re years away yet, so let’s just brush that aside for the moment, shall we?)
Aside from the reminder that life moves too swiftly, it reminded me that spring is flying by. And while the markets are really starting to come to life and all the fruit is starting to sweeten, I am not yet willing to let go of my beloved rhubarb.
My husband came home from a quick business trip gushing about the dessert empanadas he had in LA. They were filled with apples, but that didn’t quite seem right to me, despite how delicious he said they were. I knew in an instant what to do with the stalks of rhubarb I had waiting in the fridge.
Dessert empanadas are simply sweet versions of the savory classic – little hand pies of portable sweetness. A lifetime ago, I made banana empanadas, but this time, I tried a new dough – an eggless one – and love how it works beautifully to encase the rhubarb filling with absolutely flaky, light butteriness. The rhubarb empanadas disappeared a little too quickly, just like our little birds, but while our little winged friends may never return, I know for certain that this recipe will be coming back to my kitchen, again and again.
Rhubarb Empanadas are little pockets of spring! These sweet dessert hand pies are filled with rhubarb and are perfectly portable.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 oz chopped rhubarb
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Many aspects of this recipe can be prepared in advance, which can come in handy if you are making this for entertaining. Make the dough up to three days in advance (or longer, by storing tightly sealed in the freezer). The filling can also be prepared a day or two in advance.
The empanadas themselves can be assembled in advance (without the egg wash), placed on a parchment lined tray, and transferred to a resealable freezer bag for longer term storage. Bake frozen empanadas directly from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time.