Friday, August 12, 2011

Tea for Two and Guava Pastries

Once in a while, I get a craving for Guava Pastries, or Pastelitos de Guayaba, our favorite treat when I was growing up . . . 

Sunday mornings meant a box of pastelitos that my father would pick up at the local Cuban bakery, and the Sunday paper.  We'd each claim our favorite section of the paper, and reach into the box for a pastry.  Ahh . . . those pastries . . . flaky . . . still warm from the oven . . . oozing guava filling . . . By the time we'd finish the paper, there would be pastry flakes all over everything. 

Then, it was time to discuss the morning's news . . .  I'll never again be able to eat a pastelito without thinking of Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of Great Britain.  My family rehashed the entire Falkland Islands War in the early 80's over a box of pastries . . .

We no longer have a Cuban bakery nearby, so I've learned to make the pastries myself - surprisingly easy after discovering frozen puff pastry!  Here are the ingredients:  1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, 1 box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, 1 can of guava paste and 1 egg.  Most Hispanic markets carry guava paste.  Goya is a popular brand.  I like either Goya or Conchita.


Make a light syrup using 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water . . . Set aside to cool . . .


Butter a cookie sheet or use a vegetable oil spray.  Don't use one of your good cookie sheets, this one will get messy . . .


Prepare an egg wash using 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of water . . . Set aside . . .


Open up the can of guava paste . . .


It looks somewhat like jellied cranberry sauce, but it's much firmer . . .


Cut into the paste . . .


Dig out that first slice.  The first couple of slices can be messy and uneven.  That's O.K., just keep going . . .


They won't go to waste anyway . . .  Mmm . . .


Keep cutting slices out and lay them on a cutting board . . .


Use the lid to close the can back up.  I then put the whole thing inside a Ziplog bag and it lasts for weeks in the refrigerator . . .


Cut the guava paste slices in pieces about one-inch long . . .


Defrost the puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator.  Unroll the two sheets and place one on top of the other . . .


First, cut in thirds along the creases.  Then cut in quarters across . . .


This is more or less what you need to end up with . . .


Separate the top and bottom piece.  Place a piece of guava paste in the center of the bottom piece.  Moisten the edges with water. 


Cover with the top piece and crimp the edges so they seal well . . .


Place in the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces . . .


Work moderately quickly so the puff pastry doesn't get too warm.  When it's warm, it gets sticky . . .


Brush the pastries with the egg wash . . .


Place in the oven, pre-heated to 350° F, for about 25 minutes until golden brown . . .


Remove from the oven.  Brush the tops with the simple syrup and put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  The syrup will caramelize the tops . . .


WARNING:  The guava paste is extremely hot when it comes out of the oven!!!  Let the pastelitos cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to eat one!  I know it'll be hard, but you can do it!!!


Now, go ahead, invite England's Prime Minister to tea, if you like . . .


Or the President of the United States . . .



Maybe a nice pastry like this would improve his day . . .

Seasonal Sunday Teapot copy

11 comments:

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

oh my gosh, you are one awesome lady. I love "guayabas" guava. I have the puff pastry box but I'll have to get the guava. THANK YOU, my family is gonna love this, I'm bookmarking this page.

Jojo said...

Wow! These look yummy and so easy!

Thisisme. said...

Wonderful cookery lesson for us there today, with some great photos showing us exactly what to do. (I love the colour of your nail polish by the way! Hee Hee!). They look absolutely scrumptious. Yum Yum!!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Gracias Maria por las recetas paso a paso de pastelitos de guayaba y los recuerdos que nos relatas...yo tengo buenas recetas de muchas cosas de guayaba de los libros de cocina de mi suegra, (ella los ecribio)....uno siempre relaciona cosas de comer con su niñez. Muchos abrazos y un lindo fin de semana. FABBY

Amanda said...

Yummy! You are making me hungry again :)

Angela2932 said...

Oh, this looks wonderful! I'm going to try and make them. . . and claim you came to visit me! (Which you have, in spirit!) Wonderful set of photos as well; I like the varying perspectives.

Snap said...

These look delicious and you've made them so easy to make! Thank you!

Barb said...

Nice step by step illustrations! I am going to try and make them also.

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Maria,
I too am a big pastelitos fan. My favorite is guava AND cream cheese, YUM!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Hugs,
Patti

The Tablescaper said...

I love this post and all of your memories. As you told your story of Sunday mornings with the paper and the pastries, I had a mental picture. What wonderful memories. And you make these pastries looks so easy.

Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Marlis said...

This looks so easy.. I should try it.. I bet it tastes amazing too. Thanks for sharing with us.. xo marlis