Our wedding anniversary is in a few days and Thanksgiving is right around the corner so we opted to celebrate this year by heading to the Florida Keys.
Because we are heading into the southern parts of Florida I thought I would share a quick tropical treat with you. I know Thanksgiving is in a few days and most people have pumpkin pie and Turkey on their minds but after a while you may get tired of leftovers and want something different. Something that reminds you of tropical breezes and warm salt water.
Guava filled pastries are pretty common in Florida. They are a staple of the many Cuban restaurants you will find. We also saw guava treats often while we were in Maui. Guava is a prevalent tropical fruit.
If you have never had guava you are in for a treat. It’s a little tart and has a bit of a strawberry-ish flavor. It’s quite delicious. I even have guava syrup in the fridge that we use on pancakes. (You can find the paste in ethnic markets or in the regular grocery store if you are lucky enough to live in a more tropical location. I found mine at the local Asian market.)
This was the first time I had attempted to recreate the pastries I had so often enjoyed while living in FL. I decided that if I was going to make them with the cream cheese layer (you find them with and without the cheese in FL) I should use an egg to make sure the mixture sets up a little and doesn’t ooze out of the puff pastry.
When they came out of the oven they were beautiful! Golden and puffed and none of the filling oozed out! A real success. I almost had to high five myself! Anxious to eat one, I let it cool for about 2 seconds and then took a bite. . . and all I could taste was egg. . .like a curdled custard. My elation was deflated.
They were just so pretty sitting there that I couldn’t help but grab another as I walked past the kitchen. And. . . .WOW! Once they cooled and the filling had a little time for the flavors to meld, they were great! Not egg-y at all! Quite perfect!
Moral of this story. . .let them cool completely before stuffing them in your face.
I doubt turkey will be on the menu for Tim and I this Thanksgiving. Maybe some fresh seafood and key lime pie instead. We’re happily winging it. Even if we just eat turkey subs in the Florida sunshine, I know we will be happy as little Coquina!
Guava Cream Pastries
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 8oz block of cream cheese, room temp
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup guava paste
1 egg (for egg wash)
Thaw the puff pastry as instructed on the packaging.
Take cream cheese out of fridge 1 hour before you are ready to use it. It’s easier to mix up if it’s softened.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1 egg and the powdered sugar. Set mixture aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the guava paste until it is spreadable. Set aside.
Beat 1 egg in a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold 1 sheet of the puff pastry. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry just a little to smooth out the cracks and make it a little bigger.
Cut the pastry sheet into 6 rectangles. In the center of each rectangle place 1 heaping Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture and 1 Tbsp of the guava paste. Brush 3 edges of the rectangle with the egg mix. Fold the pastry up over the filling and use a fork to press the edges of the dough together. Place the pastry on a lined cookie sheet. Brush the tops with more egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Repeat steps with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Makes 12 pastries. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Cool completely before eating. Will keep in an air tight container for several days.