Tag Archives: Cuban Food

Pastelitos De Guayaba

In South Florida pretty much all of the grocery stores with a bakery have an assortment of Hispanic pastries/baked goods. Empanadas, arepas, and of course, pastelitos.

Pastelitos are Cuban pastries with various fillings. They can be sweet or savory. Today I’m sharing with you the king of all sweet pastelitos – pastelito de guayaba.

1538055123105.jpg

This pastelito is filled with guava paste, which is a very sweet, very thick guava reduction. It is absolutely one of my favorite things. I’ve briefly shared about it before in a couple of recipes.

In this recipe, guava paste is the star. Pastelitos de guayaba (the Spanish word for guava, as you may have guessed) come in two forms – con queso y sin queso. The combination of guava paste & cheese is truly wonderful. Any cheese will do, but for pastelitos it’s cream cheese. The two flavors melt and marry beautifully in the puff pastry. If cheese isn’t your thing, that’s OK. Just stick with the guava.

Thanks to the wonder that is frozen puff pastry, this recipe is ridiculously simple. I don’t make it often because it’s kind of a calorie bomb, but it’s worth every single one.

1538054810703.jpg

To make a dozen pastelitos, cut the guava paste brick into 12 slices. I usually cut in into quarters & then each quarter into 3 pieces. Then lay the guava slices on to the puff pastry sheet, using the folds as natural dividers. For this batch I put cream cheese on half of them.

1538054917859.jpg

Top with the other sheet of puff pastry, cut into 12 squares that each contain a guava slice, & score the top. Then brush with an egg wash to get that nice golden color.

1538054989741.jpg

These pastries are so flaky and delicious. Cuban people would call this breakfast, but this makes a great dessert, too. Basically good for any occasion, any time of day! Pastelitos are delicious warm or cold, but you definitely want them to cool for a few minutes after coming out of the oven. Hot guava = lava. Hey, that rhymes! These can be a little messy between the flaky crust and warm, gooey guava. You’ll definitely be licking your fingers!

Now that I don’t live in South Florida anymore I might be making these more often. If your local grocery store bakery doesn’t offer pastelitos, now you know how to make your own!

¡Buen provecho!

Pastelitos De Guayaba

Makes 1 dozen pastries

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry
  • 1 brick of guava paste (approx. 14 oz)
  • cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 egg for wash
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. You want it thawed enough to unfold without cracking, but not soft.
  2. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  3. Cut guava paste into 12 slices. Place 4 slices per pastry sheet fold to get your 12 servings. If adding cream cheese, place 1 tbsp (or slice of the same length as guava slice) on top of guava.
  4. Unfold the second puff pastry sheet and place it over the one with the guava paste. Cut into 12 squares and score the tops of each.
  5. Brush egg wash on each square. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Can be enjoyed warm or cold.
Nutritional info (with cream cheese): 307 cal, 44 g carbs, 13.5g fat, 4 g protein

Classic Cuban Flan

Deciding what recipe to share with you this week for Hispanic Heritage Month inspired me to make something that I have not made in ages: flan.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

What is flan? Flan is a delicious cooked custard. There really is nothing like it in my opinion. It can be very hard to describe. When done correctly, the texture is light and dense at the same time while being totally smooth; truly one of a kind. The caramel on top is just as important as the custard. Flan can be many different flavors. This here is the OG flan.

Every Latin country has their own flan recipe. Actually, it probably even varies family to family! This is my family’s recipe.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

I made my family’s classic Cuban flan the old fashioned way – in the pressure cooker.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

Hisssssssss

We’ve never made it any other way. There are other recipes out there for making it in the oven. This recipe is staying true to my roots & embracing the scary pressure cooker. There really isn’t anything to be scared of. I bought this one like 10 years ago & it has a sensor that WILL NOT allow you to open it if it’s still pressurized. It’s pretty fail safe. The hissing sound it makes really takes me back to my childhood. I introduced Cupcake to that sound today – she wasn’t a huge fan. Yet.

You CAN make this recipe using an InstaPot, or so I have read. I have zero experience using one, so I’m not sure what the conversion would be. It took me many years to embrace the CrockPot, so I think it’ll be another while before I can embrace the InstaPot.

The other item you need to make this recipe the traditional way is a flanera.

flanera flan Mrs. Dessert Monster

I just bought this one off Amazon (not affiliate link, just sharing!). It’s actually a little sad I didn’t already have one, but I really haven’t made flan in ages! Siglos, as my mom said. The locking lid prevents water from getting in to it. Again, there are other recipes that omit this equipment, even using a pressure cooker or InstaPot. For me, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m not messing with success & proven results!

This recipe and this cooking method is a part of my heritage. Sure, there are other times I totally embrace different ways of making classic recipes. Or even just outright buy my favorite Cuban foods. No one I know makes their own croquetas anymore, thanks to Goya. But this flan is special. And special equipment aside, it’s pretty simple to make.

classic Cuban flan pressure cooker flanera Mrs. Dessert Monster

Back when I did make this flan more often, I quickly jotted down my mom’s recipe one day. You can totally tell English is my heart language, even though Spanish was my first language. Since it’s been a while I called her to clarify & wrote down the instructions more clearly for all of us.

Classic Cuban Flan

  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ~1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl. Take the now empty can of sweetened condensed milk & fill it with milk (it’s approximately 1 cup, but doing it this way ensures you have equal parts by volume milk & sweetened condensed milk).
  2. Add eggs & vanilla to bowl. Mix thoroughly using electric mixer or by hand with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. To make caramel, pour 1 cup of sugar into medium saucepan. Melt until a light golden liquid caramel forms. Carefully pour caramel into flanera, using oven mitts to turn the flanera to cover the sides with caramel.
  4. Strain the egg custard mix into the flanera with caramel. Close the latches.
  5. Place flanera into pressure cooker. Fill with water until just below lid of flanera (this was less than 2 cups for me, just to give you an idea). Do not fill too high. Close pressure cooker properly. TIP FROM MY MAMI: when using an electric stove top, you may want to use a metal or foil ring to prevent flanera from being in direct contact with the heating element. I have a gas stove so I did not do this step.
  6. Turn the stove on medium heat. When the pressure cooker begins to hiss, cook for 30 more minutes, then turn off heat. Allow pressure cooker to fully depressurize before opening. I usually leave it for about an hour. Take flanera out & put into fridge for 1-4 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, open flanera. Take your serving dish, invert it over flanera & flip flan out. You want a serving dish with some sort of edge so you don’t lose all that precious caramel! Cut into slices & spoon residual caramel over top.
Nutritional info, based on 12 servings: 200 calories, 32 g sugar, 5.8 g protein, 5.1 g fat