PASTELITOS (GUAVA AND CREAM CHEESE PASTRIES)
In Havana - and in Cuban neighborhoods across the U.S. - pastry shops make many types of cakes and cookies, but the best-sellers are always the pastels and pastelitos, flaky pastries filled with meat, cheese, coconut custard or guava jam. According to "Paladares: Recipes from the Private Restaurants, Home Kitchens, and Streets of Cuba" by Anya von Bremzen (Abrams, 2017), the shape of the pastel correlates with the filling: Triangular pastels are filled with guava paste and cheese, while rectangular ones are filled with just guava. Versailles, a Cuban restaurant in Miami, follows this rule, but at home, just make them rectangular, and add a swipe of cream cheese if desired. You can find guava paste in bricks at Latin American grocers, or swap in about 1/2 cup jam or preserves for a nontraditional take.
Provided by Daniela Galarza
Categories snack, finger foods, pastries, dessert
Yield 8 pastelitos
Number Of Ingredients 7
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Prepare an egg wash: In a small bowl, beat the egg with a pinch of salt and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper. (Keep the other puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator.) Dust off any excess flour and lay the rolled pastry sheet on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Dip a pastry brush into the egg wash, and paint a line in lengthwise along the center of the pastry sheet, followed by three crosswise lines, evenly spaced, forming a grid of 8 rectangles, each approximately 3 inches wide and 4 inches long. Brush edges with egg wash. Lay a slice of guava paste in the center of each rectangle (or dot with dollops of jam or preserves, if using). Spread some of the cream cheese, if using, on top of the guava paste (about 1 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese per pastry).
- Remove the second sheet of puff pastry from the refrigerator, and roll it out into an 8-by-11-inch rectangle, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Lay the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the first. Using the side of your palm, press around and between the mounds of filling, pressing out any excess air, and to glue the top pastry to the bottom, creating 8 even, rectangular pockets. Paint the top sheet of puff pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle the surface with sugar.
- Using a knife or bench scraper, cut out and separate the 8 pastelitos following the original grid in between the indentations in the dough. Trim the perimeter to neaten the rectangles. The dough should still be cool to the touch; if it is warm, return the pastelitos to the refrigerator on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up before baking.
- Bake pastelitos until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
CUBAN PASTELITO DE GUAYABA
- In a blender or food processor, add all guava shells and half the syrup from one can. Process until it reaches a smooth consistency. Put puree in a medium saucepan and cook at low heat until reduced to a very thick consistency. Let guava cool and then fill into pastry bag. In a medium mixing bowl, add 4 ounces of water, 2 ounces of butter, and salt and mix until smooth. Then add flour and work well until all ingredients are incorporated. Continue to add water, a little at a time, working the dough until a medium-hard consistency is reached. Form dough into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll the dough into a flat square, about 1/2-inch thick.
- Place the remaining butter in the middle of square and pat down by hand to form a square about one-half the size of the dough square. Fold over the 4 corners of the dough, 1 at a time, overlapping each other so that a sealed envelope is formed enclosing the butter. Dust with flour and roll out to form a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Now fold 1/3 of the rectangle dough towards the middle and the remaining 1/3 over those 2. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. Now repeat process above of rolling out and folding in 3, 2 more times, resting 15 minutes between each.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out a final time into a rectangle and fold 1/4of the dough on each side to the middle and then fold 1 more time down the middle to form 4 flaps in the fold. Let rest for 15 minutes. Roll out to a rectangle to about 1/8-inch thick. With a knife, cut the flattened dough into a 4-inch wide strip by length of your baking sheet. Lay strip on sheet pan lined with waxed paper and put filling lengthwise in the middle in continuous stream about 3/4-inch in diameter. Spray edges of strips with water and cover with another 4-inch strip of dough the same size as bottom. Press the edges together by hand very softly all the way around. Brush top with egg wash and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with a simple syrup over the top and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cut crosswise into 16 pieces.
MIAMI GUAVA PASTRIES (PASTELITOS)
This is the recipe for traditional Cuban/Puerto Rican pastries that can only be found in some places. Our family goes crazy for them! Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.
Provided by geekchic99
Categories World Cuisine Recipes Latin American Caribbean
Number Of Ingredients 6
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly flour a baking sheet.
- Roll puff pastry into a thin sheet on a floured surface. Cut into squares about the length of your hand and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Beat egg and water together in a bowl; brush each pastry square with egg wash. Stab each square a few times with a fork.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes.
- Mix guava paste and jam together in a bowl until smooth.
- Cut a large, vertical slit into each pastry. Spread 1 tablespoon guava mixture into each slit, making sure guava doesn't squeeze out when closed.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 221.6 calories, Carbohydrate 31.9 g, Cholesterol 18.6 mg, Fat 9.7 g, Fiber 0.6 g, Protein 2.5 g, SaturatedFat 2.5 g, Sodium 67.6 mg, Sugar 3.8 g
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