The Kitchen Prep: Pastel de Guayaba {Guava & Cream Cheese Pastry}

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pastel de Guayaba {Guava & Cream Cheese Pastry}

I have fond memories of guava pastries on weekend mornings when I was growing up.
We lived just down the street from a Cuban bakery. Often times I would wake up and find that my dad had started the day's rounds early and brought home breakfast, which would be waiting on the dining room table.

That white bakery bag, spotted and almost translucent in parts where the grease had saturated the paper {not the healthiest, I know, but so very delicious}, was an incentive to shake off the drowsiness a little faster; a tall order for the girl that would often stumble out of bed long after the rest of the house was buzzing with activity.

You couldn't talk to me in those first few minutes of morning lucidity, but you could sure diffuse the grumpiness by handing me a hot guava pastry. What a sweet wake up call.

I've eaten oodles of guava pastries in my day. From the corner bakery. From Miami. Even from our neighborhood Publix {one of the perks of living in an area with a heavy Cuban customer base}. So, in making my own, I had a feeling that it was going to be difficult to create something that met my standards.

This is a "jalousie" version of Guava & Cream Cheese Pastry. Hot, bubbly guava paste and cream cheese filling peeks out from behind puff pastry slats, daring you to resist the temptation. {It's impossible, I've tried.} While it's definitely a sweet treat, it's not uncommon to serve as a breakfast item for a sugary morning jolt.

The taste of this pastry brought back happy memories of the past as well as a glimpse of passing on tradition in the future - a winning combination.

Guava & Cream Cheese Pastry
Adapted from Gourmet

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten - 1-2 tablespoons reserved for egg wash
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz. guava paste, cut into 4 in. x 2in. x 1/4 in. pieces {or approx 2/3 cup guava preserves}
Coarse or sanding sugar {optional}

Preheat oven and a medium sheet pan to 425 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll thawed puff pastry into a 9 1/2 x 12 inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise. Set aside 1 piece.

Fold the second piece in half and turn so that the folded side faces you {opening away from you}. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, starting 1 inch from the edge, create slits every 1/2 inch or so, leaving a 1 inch border at top of pastry. {Don't cut all the way through, you want to create slits that are still attached} Unfold pastry and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extact and all but 1-2 tablespoons of beaten egg.  Beat until smooth.

Transfer bottom sheet of pastry {the uncut piece} to a sheet of aluminum foil. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly down the center, leaving a 1 to 1 1/2 inch border around the entire rectangle. Place sliced pieces of guava paste {or dollops of guava preserves} down the center of the cream cheese mixture.

With a slightly wet finger, trace the edge of the pastry lightly to moisten dough. Carefully lift cut piece of pastry, and place on top. Press down lightly around the edges to seal.

Combine remaining 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of beaten egg with about a tablespoon of water. Lightly brush pastry with egg wash, and sprinkle with coarse/sanding sugar if desired.

Remove hot pan from the oven and carefully lift and arrange foil with pastry onto pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden brown.


Julia said...

This is one of my Cuban hubby's favorite dishes! I will be using this recipe :)

The Kitchen Prep said...

I hope he likes it! It's sort of the "short cut" version of pastelitos, but it tastes just as good. :) {Though I honestly think anything containing guava is delicious!} Let me know how what you think!

Danguole said...

Oh man, that looks incredible. Sometimes I'm so jealous of Floridians and their Cuban goodies!

The Kitchen Prep said...

Thanks, Danguole! We are definitely lucky to have so much fabulous Cuban fare available. I have to say though, you could definitely recreate this with your mad cooking skills & have a taste of Little Havana right in your kitchen! :) Thanks for stopping by! said...

In Brazil we love guava and cheese too, here in SD people always think its weird but personally I think guava + cheese is just a better latin version of the spanish membrillo paste + cheese...haha

Post a Comment

Hearing from you makes me happy! Thanks for reading and commenting!