Guava pastries with manchego and goat cheese

These delicious guava and cheese pastries are inspired by Cuban pastelitos. They’re sweet and savory and perfect with a steaming hot cup of coffee. I’ve had the pleasure of eating pastelitos in LA and Miami, and absolutely fell in love with them. So when my mom gave me a bag of fresh guavas, I immediately knew what I was going to do with the overripe ones I couldn’t eat fast enough.

Note: I made my own guava purée in this case, but you really don’t need to. I shared my recipe and instructions below, but honestly, I recommend buying readymade. Making guava purée is a labor of love. You can easily find guava jam or purée at your local Mexican supermarket, or online. Amazon has a few options.

Assuming you have the purée handy, the basic recipe is only 4 ingredients and perfect for novice bakers. The secret is using storebought puff pastry, which gives the pastries a flaky, crispy crust. I used Pepperidge Farm, but you can use any you like.

Ingredients – purée

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh guava pulp, blended in a blender of food processor until it is the consistency of a thick applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar

Ingredients – pastries

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for 40 minutes
  • 1 cup guava purée
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated manchego cheese

Ingredients – topping (optional)

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling

Instructions – purée

  1. Using a large sieve, strain your fresh guava pulp into a large saucepan so that no seeds remain. Note: this took me a few hours. I mostly left gravity do its thing, occasionally stirring the pulp with a spoon.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and strained guava pulp and stir together. Heat over medium low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should resemble a thick jam. Let cool to room temperature. It will thicken more as it cools. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for upto 1 week.

Instructions – pastries

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a large surface, unroll both sheets of puff pastry and cut each sheet into 9 equal rectangles.
  3. On 9 of the rectangles, place 1 tablespoon of guava purée in the center, leaving 1/2 inch of dough around the edges. Top with a teaspoon of goat cheese and a teaspoon of manchego cheese.
  4. Place an unused rectangle of dough on top of each of the rectangles with filling. Seal the edges using your fingertips. Note, this may get a little messy, as you may have some filling spilling out. Don’t sweat it – just wipe it or remove the excess with a spoon. Crimp the edges of each pastry lightly with a fork.
  5. Optional: If you want your pastries to look nice and brown on top, whisk together the milk and agave in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush mixture on top of each pastry and sprinkle a pinch of raw sugar on top.
  6. Using a spatula, place each pastry on a sturdy, parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops and edges are a nice golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

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