I live in Southern California. In a sweet peanut-butter-and-jelly type suburban neighborhood. In other words, I live FAR from the nearest Cuban restaurant. In fact, I have to travel if I want Cuban food. Usually in traffic. Yes, that was a complaint. Hungry for Cuban food. Don’t want to drive to get it. What to do?
My solution to this conundrum is that I have learned to cook. When I get a craving for Cuban food, I run to the store for ingredients and just cook the food of my childhood and current craving.
There is even a small Mexican mercado not far from my home where I can get Goya products, Cuban-style galletas, plantain chips and most especially, guava paste. (Let’s have a moment of silence here, shall we?)
What I cannot get, unless I drive through six area codes through intense traffic is Pastelitos de Guayaba. My favorites. So I have learned to improvise. And came up with my own super-easy recipe to take care of this problem. My pastelitos have become a hit. (*she says proudly*)
But wait. There’s a 2nd half to this story.
Through a series of circumstances involving his wife and my blog, I have developed an unlikely friendship with Desi Arnaz, Jr. Yes, the adorable (still!) son of iconic TV couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” fame.
He had never even tasted pastelitos de guayaba. (Shocking. I know.) So I took it upon myself to right this terrible wrong.
I made Desi a batch of my pastelitos and traveled through the fierce Nevada desert in 110 degree heat. (Of course, I was in an air-conditioned car. I was just going for some drama there, but that’s not important right now.)
Here’s Desi (*be still my heart*) loving on my pastelitos.
To read the full story of Desi and the Pastelitos, go here.
Here’s my killer pastelito recipe. After you read this, you, like Desi, are going to want to be my friend, too. =D
Marta’s Homemade Pastelitos de Guayaba
1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
1 bar guava paste
1 pkg. Cream cheese (optional)
1 egg white, beaten
1/2 tsp. sugar
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions.
3) Use baking parchment to line your cookie sheet so the guava won’t stick.
4) Unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan.
5) Cut guava into 1/4 inch slices and place on the pastry sheet.
6) Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional).
7) Unfold second pastry sheet and place on top of guava paste.
8) Cut into desired size before baking.
9) To add a slight glaze, beat together: 1 egg white and 1/2 tsp. of sugar. Brush mixture over pastry before baking.
10) Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
When you start smelling the baking pastries and that timer goes off in your oven, you will be confronted with the most voluptuous, mouth-watering pastelitos ever. But heed this warning: Let them cool before you decide to taste them. That is all.
(This recipe was previously posted on Babalú blog in another form.)