A True Culinary Adventure: Guava and Cheese Pastry

GuavaCheesePastry.TheCubanReuben.comA few weeks ago, my friend and editor of The Nosher, Shannon, came to visit. We planned to spend some time together visiting, cooking, and bridging the gaps within our relationship that had developed via email and online correspondence. It was so nice to meet Shannon in person, and we quickly realized we had lots in common.

When Shannon asked me what she could bring to our gathering, I suggested she stop at my all-time favorite bakery, Porto’s, to pick up my #1 treat: Guava and Cheese Pastries, which Porto’s accurately calls, “Refugiados,” or “Refugees.” I’ve explained in the past that I think this is the perfect name for these strudels, because one bite of these babies transports any Cuban-native right back to their motherland!  But for my culinary adventure with Shannon, I had big plans for this batch.

GuavaandCheesePastries.TheCubanReuben.com

This pastry works great regular-sized or in the 2-bite variety.

Since I no longer live particularly close to this bakery, I decided that under Shannon’s watchful eye, I would attempt to duplicate the guava and cheese magic at home. Fear not, loyal Porto’s fans… I still plan to buy them when I’m in the area, but for the 95% of the time that I am not, I thought it’d be a good idea for me to learn to make them myself. The good news? They’re SUPER simple to make! The bad news? They’re SUPER simple to make!

Taste Test. TheCubanReuben.com

Evidence of our official taste test. Can you tell which is which?

Although I love to cook, I’ve never believed baking to be my strength in the kitchen. Sure, I can hold my own with a few cakes and breads, but a baker I am not (at least, not yet). Shannon, on the other hand, has proven herself to be a baking maven, and I was so thankful she were here during my big experiment. She suggested alternative tips and tricks to help me master this dish, and in the end, our official taste-testers had a very difficult time telling the difference between the original and the home-made version.

JennyShannon.TheCubanReuben.com

Shannon gets close for an official kitchen selfie.

To Shannon, I am thrilled that our mutual love of food and blogging brought us together, and am immensely thankful for the opportunity to be a contributor to The Nosher. You’re welcome to visit anytime!

_____________________

*I do hear from time to time that some of the more authentically Cuban ingredients I use are sometimes hard to find. If you have a hard time finding guava paste at your local international market, know that it is easy to find online. Here’s a link to a Kosher variety.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Guava and Cheese Pastry
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Cuban
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Guava and cheese are the stars of the classic Cuban breakfast pastry.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 box of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 8oz bar of cream cheese
  • 1 package of guava paste
  • 1 Tbs. coarse sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Create an egg wash by combining the whisked egg and the water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Sprinkle powdered sugar on flat surface, and lay out puff pastry dough on top.
  4. Cut dough into 12 equal squares, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. In the middle of 6 of the squares, add 1 heaping Tbs. of guava paste and top with 1 heaping Tbs. of cream cheese (Note: The amount of filling depends on personal taste). Brush the perimeter of these squares with egg wash.
  6. On the other 6 squares, score the top with 3-4 lines, lengthwise, careful not to slice all the way to the top and bottom of the square. Top the the previous 6 squares. Press edges to seal.
  7. (Optional: You can now add an extra horizontal score on each end of the dough to add in extra puffing).
  8. Brush the top dough with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and fully puffed.
  9. Let stand on baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then cool on wire rack.
Notes
note: To make mini-pastries, cut each of the 6 squares in 4, and fill accordingly. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

 

17 thoughts on “A True Culinary Adventure: Guava and Cheese Pastry

  1. Pingback: Variation on a theme: Savory Manchego and Quince Turnovers | The Cuban Reuben

  2. I love your page!! I’m from Venezuela and my husband is Italia American!!
    We go to Miami every year during the winter. My husband loves Latin food and the first thing he does when arrived in Miami is to find a Cuba restaurant for the pastelitos ,have to be Cuba pastels( the best) guava and cheese.

    I’m going to try your recipe

  3. Hi!!!! I was raised in the porto’s guava and chesse. My mother worked there and this was all we ate!! In trying out the recipe today. I’m excited to see how they taste! Just waiting for the oven to hurry up!

  4. Hi, I found packages of guava paste that come in 8 oz. and 16 oz. sizes–what size did you use for your recipe? Thanks in advance!

  5. Hi! If I can’t find any guava paste, can I sub it with guava jam? Or what can you suggest besides guava jam? Thank you!

  6. I had to buy Goya guava paste via Amazon since I live in the middle of no where Texas and a lot of the reviews said they had to thin down the paste, did you have a problem? I’m missing everything Portos! Next time I’m in southern California I’m bring back a dozen!

  7. Just tried this recipe, and all I have to say is: WOW!
    We were raised in northern NJ and NY and we moved to what my husband calls ‘the boonies’. What we’ve missed the most besides family and friends is the food.
    These are AMAZING!!!!
    THANK YOU for bringing a piece of our childhood back to our home!

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