Rice pudding, I’ve noticed, comes in many different varieties. Still, my experiences with rice pudding have always been where it is served in a bowl for you to eat with a spoon. So, when my aunt mentioned the rice pudding empanadas that my grandmother used to make, it was definitely a surprise. As it turns out, rice pudding empanadas do exist in parts of South America. However, most of the recipes that I found used pastry or pie dough for the crust. My aunt insists that these were made with pandebono dough, which is a Colombian cheese bread. She offered to share this recipe with me, so shout out and thanks to you for your contribution to my blog!
1/2 cup long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 sliver of cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
3 allspice berries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (optional)
1 box of Pandequeso mix
2lbs queso blanco (spanish white cheese)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
First, you make the rice pudding.
Add the rice, water, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon
to a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until all of the water is absorbed and rice is soft (about 25 mins). You want it to be slightly overdone, so add more water if needed.
Add the milk, butter, and sugar. Continue to cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens (about 10 mins).
Add the condensed milk (if using), nutmeg, and salt. Continue to stir until mixture is the desired consistency, then add the vanilla.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before using.
Next, make your dough.
In your food processor, grind your cheese until no large pieces remain. If you do not have a food processor, you can shred your cheese by hand.
Add your dry ingredients, and pulse until just combined. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
Add your eggs and combine, then add your butter and milk. When the mixture forms a firm dough, start kneading with your hands. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a piece of plastic wrap or a ziploc bag with the sides cut open so it lays flat, take a round of dough slightly larger than a golf ball and flatten into a disk with a rolling pin or your hands.
Add a rounded spoonful of rice pudding, then fold one end of the disk over the other to form a half moon shape, and pinch your empanada shut. You can scallop the edges if you wish. Otherwise, you can take a small custard cup and press it down on the empanada to seal it. Repeat until you run out of ingredients.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Note: These empanadas don’t normally produce a crispy crust. So, if your empanadas are more soft than crunchy, you didn’t do anything wrong!