As Margarita and I were brainstorming about the finale to our Cuban dinner party (more about that here), she mentioned that perhaps we should offer guava paste and cream cheese, as that was a typical Cuban dish to serve at the end of the meal.
The image of platters of guava paste and cream cheese rattled around in my brain for a bit, but then they were replaced with platters of mini pop tarts stuffed with guava paste and cream cheese. Because that seemed like so much fun.
Don’t you agree?
Wait, I should pause for a moment: Have you heard of Guava paste? No? I love the stuff. It’s a very thick puree of guava fruit and sugar, with a consistency is similar to membrillo, or quince paste, and to me tastes a bit like a mash-up of a strawberries and pears, but somehow more tropical. Try it. You can find it in the Latin section of your supermarket in a large round flat can – I used Goya brand for this recipe.
And you all know, I love stuffing various things into pastries… tropical fruits and creamy cheeses included.
Mix up a quick pop-tart pastry dough, and roll it out nice and thin. I used my ravioli press as a guide to make these little squares… or you can just mark your dough with a ruler, and cut up a number of little squares. Cut tiny chunks of guava paste, layer a dollop of cream cheese on top, then place the second square of dough on top. You will need to press the top square down with the palm of your hand before closing the pastries with the tines of a fork. The assembly will look like this:
Honestly, it was only after I created these darling little pastries that I went online and discovered that guava and cream cheese is layered in all sorts of wonderful little pastries – often called pastelitos – some made with puff pastry, others with a shortbread.
I adore this version though – it does take a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it, I promise. Our guests would agree, I’m sure. This recipe makes a ton (4 dozen) so we sent them home for them to eat for breakfast the next morning.
Things I am crushing on lately:
Love this piece on creativity
I’m a huge West Wing geek… love this.
Thanks to Rebecca over at the Displaced Housewife, I discovered the HBO Nora Ephron documentary made by her son. Made me laugh, made me cry… kinda like her movies. You’ve Got Mail will always be on my 10 Ten list of Faves. Loved that woman. (Thanks Rebecca)
Next up: Need to post the picadillo empanadas from the party… working on it.
Two years ago: A most excellent strawberry smoothie
One year ago: Still wandering about
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ cups butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Scatter the small pieces of butter over the flour mixture.
- With the mixer on low, mix until the butter is fully incorporated. Your dough should look like light yellow cornmeal.
- Whisk the egg in a bowl with the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the egg mixture into the dough.
- If it does not come together, add the milk one tablespoon at a time until it does.
- Divide the dough into four sections, flatten into disks, and refrigerate for about an hour.
- At this point, refrigerate the dough for a few minutes while you prepare the filling.
- When you are ready to assemble the tarts...
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a pair of baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough to about ⅛-inch thick.
- Using a ridged pastry wheel,or pizza cutter, cut your pastry into 2" squares.
- (If you have a 2" ravioli stamp, it's quite handy to mark out 2" square, before you cut them out.)
- Place half of the squares on the cookie sheet.
- Cut your guava paste into ¼ inch slices, then cut each slice into ½ inch blocks. Place the guava paste in the center of each pastry square, then top with a dollop of cream cheese.
- Cover with the second square of pastry.
- Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Once you have all the pastries assembled, brush them with the extra milk, then sprinkle with a bit of sugar. (this step is optional)
- Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- The icing
- Place ⅓ cup guava paste in a glass bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds, or until it melts enough to be whisked smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
- If you would like a thicker consistency, add a bit more powdered sugar, if you would like to thin it out, use a bit of milk.
- Top each pop-tart with a bit of frosting. I started splattering them, Jackson Pollack style, then changed my mind, and covered the entire top with frosting. It's a personal decision. No one will judge.