Pastelitos de Queso y Guayaba (Guava and Cheese Pastries)

August 20, 2019 (Last Updated: March 22, 2020)
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A common Latino flavor combination, guava and cheese is the perfect filling for sweet turnovers or pastries. The balance of sweet-tart guava and creamy mild cheese is truly magical!

Guava and cheese pastries on a square red plate with one cut open

Pastelitos are flaky Cuban pastries typically filled with cheese and/or fruit preserves. They are easily prepared with frozen puff pastry. A quick dual filling of whipped, lightly sweetened cream cheese, and guava paste or preserves seals the deal. This flavor combination is not uniquely Cuban. I’ve had similarly filled pastries in Puerto Rico, and seen the like on other Latin American menus. The tart and sweet guava is a perfect foil for the tangy cream cheese. The lightly glazed puff pastry pocket is the ideal vessel for indulgence.

Triangular Cuban pastelitos on a baking sheet

How to make guava and cheese pastries

Store-bought puff pastry dough makes this process a breeze. I typically use either Pepperidge Farm of Trader Joe’s brand. The Pepperidge Farm is more readily available, but I find it a little thick, and I don’t like how it’s folded into thirds. I prefer the Trader Joe’s version as it’s made with all butter, is a bit thinner, and is rolled instead of folded. Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s only sells their puff pastry seasonally, typically before Thanksgiving and through Christmas. I like to stock up and keep several boxes in my freezer for baking emergencies.

overhead view of triangular pastries on a square plate

To begin, make the guava and cheese fillings. I find a food processor works well for both. Blitz together cream cheese with a little sugar, lemon juice, and orange blossom water. Next in a clean food processor bowl, blitz the guava paste with orange or lime juice. Roll out a sheet of puff pastry and cut it into 9 squares. Top each square with a dollop of guava filling followed by a dollop of cream cheese filling. I use less than a tablespoon of each filling for each pastry a) to ensure there is enough for all of the dough, and b) because the pastries get comfortably full between the duo of fillings. You want to make sure they aren’t too full so you can easily fold your pastries into triangles.

A close up of guava and cheese pastries on a small plate

Arrange the pastries on parchment paper-lined baking sheets and chill until firm. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake until golden. Prepare a simple syrup glaze while the pastries are chilling/baking. You’ll brush the glaze over the pastries the moment they emerge from the oven. This creates a beautiful sheen with a light sweetness without yielding a soggy exterior. The pastry is crispy and flaky, and utterly decadent. These pastries are lovely for company, and easy enough to prepare relatively last minute.

A close up of a guava and cheese pastry cut in half

Other recipes you may like

Have you ever had Cuban pastelitos or other similar Latin turnovers? What was your favorite filling? Leave me a comment, and don’t forget to rate this recipe if you try it. Thanks!

Cuban pastelitos (puff pastry turnovers) with guava and cream cheese

Pastelitos de Queso y Guayaba (Guava and Cheese Pastries)

Victoria
A common Latino flavor combination, guava and cheese is the perfect filling for sweet turnovers or pastries. The balance of sweet-tart guava and creamy mild cheese is truly magical!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chilling Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean, Cuban, Puerto Rican
Servings 18 pastries
Calories 184 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough thawed (from one 17 1/4-ounce package)
  • 1 large whole egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water

Guava Filling:

  • 8 ounces guava paste cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons orange or lime juice

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions
 

  • In a mixer or food processor, bear together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and orange blossom water until light and fluffy.
  • In a food processor or blender, add the guava pasta and orange or lime juice and process until smooth.
  • Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the first sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch square, 1/8-inch thick. Using a small knife or pastry wheel, cut the dough to measure out 9 squares, 4-by-4-inches each. Add a scant tablespoon of guava topped with scant tablespoon of cream cheese filling, off center, to each square. Brush the egg wash around the filling, fold the pastry into a triangle, and seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Transfer the filled pastries to the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • While the pastries chill, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the glaze by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  • Brush the tops of the chilled pastries with egg wash, then bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking time to ensure even browning.
  • Remove from the oven and brush pastries with the simple syrup. Allow the pastries to rest for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes & Nutrition

Servings 18.0 * calories 184 * Total Fat 9 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 0 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 13 mg * Sodium 146 mg * Potassium 1 mg * Total Carbohydrate 24 g * Dietary Fiber 0 g * Sugars 13 g * Protein 3 g
Adapted from The Cuban Table
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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Cuban Pastelitos with Guava and Cheese

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Lucy Reinbold
    August 1, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    5 stars
    Guava + cream cheese = heaven!! These are AMAZING!!!

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