This week my school had a “Cooking For Change” event, where students can make an international dish and bring samples to share. Anyone can come eat samples of the dishes and vote on their favorites with coins, that are donated to Syrian refugees. My friend Rachel and I made Cuban guava pastries (pastelitos de guayaba). I’ve never had guava before so it was exciting to make something so new and exotic. In case you also have never tried guava, it is a tropical fruit that tastes like a mix of melon and strawberry!
Rachel had made these before so she taught me how and it turned out to be very simple. Since the stores around us don’t sell guava paste, we had to make a quick trip to Giant for our supplies: guava paste, cream cheese, and puff pastry. We used a toaster oven to bake them (in several batches), which was very convenient.
These bite-sized pastries are easy to eat and don’t create a mess. They are SO delicious, especially when they are eaten warm and fresh out of the oven. The combination of cream cheese and guava jelly melded into each other, surrounded by flaky, buttery puff pastry is…unparalleled. Another version of this dessert is using brie and jelly instead of cream cheese and guava paste, which also tastes amazing.
CUBAN GUAVA PASTRIES
2 puff pastry sheets
1 can guava paste (or jelly)
4 oz cream cheese
Using a rolling pin, roll out puff pastry sheets so they are thinner. (We used a glass bottle instead of a rolling pin.)
Cut similar-sized squares of cream cheese and place on top of guava paste.
Beat an egg. Brush egg in the shape of a grid onto puff pastry sheet. This is used to glue the 2 puff pastry sheets together.
Cover with the other puff pastry sheet.
Using a knife, cut individual squares and press 2 sheets together. Use a fork to make crimps on each side.
Brush tops with egg wash. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. If using a toaster oven, you may need several batches.