(Super Easy!) Guava Pastries
These Cuban pastries were actually inspired by a visit to Saltroot Café (thanks to my friends Ren and Greg for the delicious recommendation!). Saltroot Café is a small, hole in the wall bakery in Outer Richmond serving guava-filled Brazilian Cheese Breads—also known as Pão de queijo in Portuguese. It was my first time having guava in a dessert, and to my surprise it was such a delicious compliment to the cheese inside the bread that I immediately wanted to get up and buy a few more. Unfortunately it was such a popular flavor that the bakery had sold out for the day (it was only 12:00PM at this point). Ever since then, I've been crazily craving guava, which is definitely a unique craving...
To my sadness, guava-filled desserts are not very common in San Francisco, so Plan B was to try to get my hands on some guava jam and to make my own. After searching a plethora of grocery stores—Safeway, Trader Joes, World Market, even the wallet-abusing Whole Foods, I wasn't able to find guava jam or guava paste anywhere. So I had to resort to good-old Amazon to purchase this can of guava paste (which looks very foreign and like it doesn't belong on any counter of any American grocery store).
The Brazilian Cheese Breads turned out to be quite difficult to master, so I opted for an easier option: Guava Pastries (also known as Pastelitos de Guayaba in Spanish), which luckily required only 5 ingredients: store-brought puff-pastry, cream cheese, guava paste, sugar, and egg.
I incorporated a tiny bit of sugar into my cream cheese to sweeten the mixture a little—but beware that guava-flavored jams/jellies are also very sweet themselves, so make sure to leave the work of sweetening the pastry to them and not the cream cheese.
Cut up each sheet of puff pastry into 9 pieces and spread some cream cheese and some chopped guava paste on the bottom layer. Brush an egg around the corners to seal the top layer, and then make slits to ensure that pastry has a nice puff. Finish off with a nice layer of egg wash.
I like to add a bit of a pattern around the edges with a fork and to ensure that they're completely sealed. Then pop those in a 400˚F (200˚C) oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and enjoy! -Staples Easy Button Voice- That was easy, right?
Super Easy Guava Pastries
- 2 sheets of puff pastry, frozen *
- 7 oz (around 200 g) of guava paste **
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp sugar
- 7 oz (around 200 g) of cream cheese
Takes , Makes 9.
* I used store-brought, since watching how pastry is made/judged on the Great British Baking Show has frightened me too much to even bother
** I used a little less than a regular-size box
- Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
- Take out the puff pastry out of the freezer. It's important that the puff pastry stays cold, since the colder it is, the more it will puff up in the oven.
- Slice both sheets of the frozen puff pastry into 9 equal squares. I found that doing this while the pastry is still cold was easier and made for more even pieces. Roll out each of the squares into larger squares.
- Thoroughly mix the sugar into the cream cheese with either a hand mixer—or if you want more of a bicep workout, you can just use a regular whisk like me. :)
- Slice up the guava paste into small pieces (Mine were around 1'"x 1/2" and half a cm in thickness). Then spread a small amount of cream cheese in the center of each bottom layer square of the puff pastry. Top with two pieces of guava paste.
- Beat an egg and brush the outside edges of each bottom layer pastry square.
- Cover each bottom layer (now filled with cream cheese and guava paste) with the top layer pastry. Press together to ensure that they are well-sealed (you can also use a fork like I did to create a pattern around the edges and to seal them together more tightly). Make 3 small slits on the top to allow the pastry to puff up easily.
- Finish them off with brushing the beaten egg on top of each pastry.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and allow them them to bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown
These were the perfect treat for one the most horrendously-windy and cold weekends in San Francisco. I sat at home eating these and felt like I was on a beach in Miami :-) If you have some left over, make sure to pop them in the microwave for around 15 seconds before eating (and be careful of the hot guava filling!).