This summer when I was working in Ecuador, I came to the realization that I absolutely love guava. I just could not get enough of the guava juice and guava jam I had there. Growing up, we used to eat a lot of Cuban guava pastries, or pastelitos de guayaba. My favorite is with cream cheese and guava. Delish! We also would eat guava paste in the form of a bar that you could slice and eat with crackers (and it is good with cheese too).
Since leaving home, I haven’t eaten a lot of guava which may explain why I kept eating so much of it this summer when I had the chance. In Los Angeles where I live, I was able to find some good guava pastries at Porto’s, a Cuban bakery. But I don’t live so close to Porto’s and the lines are always so long there that I don’t often go. So I tried to make my own guava pastries in order to satisfy my guava craving.
I took the easy approach to the pastries and decided not to make things from scratch. I had bought some Ancel guava paste with guava jelly center when I was last in Miami and decided to use that. I also had brought back some guava jam I bought in the town of Mindo when I was in Ecuador and tried that in the pastries to see how the two types compared.
For the pastry part, I bought Peppridge Farm puff pastry. I cut the pastry dough into rectangles the size that I wanted to make the guava pastries. For the ones made with the guava paste, I cut a slice of the bar and put it in the center of the dough square. For the ones with jam, I just put a spoonful in the center of the pastry square.
After putting the guava on the lower piece of dough, I put on the top half using a piece of dough cut to the same size. To seal the edges, I wet the interior edge of the lower piece of dough with water and then pressed the edges together. I then took a fork and pressed it around the edge of the dough to further seal it. The top of each pastry was brushed with an egg wash (just a beaten egg) to give it a glossy appearance when cooked. The egg wash can also be used to seal the edges of the two pieces of dough.
The pastries were placed on an ungreased non-stick baking sheet and were ready to be baked.
The pastries were baked in the oven at 400°F (pre-heated first) for 10-15 minutes until they looked golden brown. The pastries made with jam seemed to have leaked and so jam oozed out onto the pan. The ones made with the guava paste didn’t ooze out. This could have happened because I didn’t seal the edges of the dough well enough, but it’s more likely that this jam was just too runny for baking.
Not all of the guava jam did ooze out so when you ate the pastry there was still guava in it, but it did make a mess on the baking sheet. So it seems it might be better to use the paste if you can get it.
Oozy or not, the pastries made with either form of guava were delicious and I, and my taste tester, definitely enjoyed eating them!
Lesson to be learned: No one likes oozy jam…unless it’s guava flavored.