Homemade Pastelillos de Guayaba - in 45 minutes!
Updated: Jul 16
There's nothing like walking into a bakery in Puerto Rico and get a fresh pastelillo de guayaba (guava pastry) that is still warm! But, the truth is that it doesn't happen that often as you need to perfectly time your visit with their baking times - and they usually start baking super early in the morning, so doesn't happen often for non-morning people like us!
So we decided to take matters in our own hands without sacrificing our late wake up time: let's make it at home! They are so easy to make, you really need to try this one out!
1 box of puff pastry sheets
3 oz of guava paste
¼ cup of powdered sugar
½ cup of water
We are going to start by preparing the guava filling. Start by opening your guava paste and removing it from the packaging. Once it is out of the packaging, place it in a cutting board. Cut thin slices of the guava paste, about ⅛ of an inch thick, and then cut it to get about a 2 inch long strip. The result are pieces that are about 1 inch wide by 2 inches long and ⅛ inch thick. Place the pieces on a plate. We will need 12 pieces total for the pastelillos, so continue this process until you get 12 equal sized pieces and then set aside.
Once you have the guava paste cut and ready to go, we will now prepare the puff pastry. This puff pastry has been sitting in the fridge for the last 24 hours, I find that results in great consistency. Start by unboxing the puff pastry sheets, each box traditionally includes 2 sheets. Remove one sheet and set it aside. Take the second sheet and place it on a clean working surface and unfold it. Gently press it down to make sure that it is even.
To form the pastelillos we need 3 inch squares of puff pastry. To do this most efficiently, take your ruler and place it on the bottom side of the sheet. Make a cut every 3 inches lengthwise, which will result in 3 inch long strips. The sheet should be sufficient to get three strips and you will have a thin strip left at the end that you can just discard. Then, place the ruler on the right side of the sheet and make a cut every 3 inches crosswise. This will result in a total of 9 3inch squares.
Once you have finished cutting the first puff pastry sheet, prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and place the squares on top of the parchment paper.
After you move your squares into the baking tray, then repeat the same process with the second sheet of puff pastry. Unfold the sheet. Then, measure and cut so you get 9 3inch squares. Once your second sheet has been cut then you can place the squares in the baking tray.
Now that our guava paste and puff pastry squares are ready, let’s turn on the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit so it can start warming up while we prepare the pastelillos.
To prepare the pastelillos, start by placing a small parchment paper square on your working surface, this will prevent the puff pastry from sticking to the surface since we are going to be working with it. Then place a puff pastry square on top of the parchment paper, and a piece of guava paste in the middle of the puff pastry square. Then, using the brush or your finger, put a little bit of water around the edges of the puff pastry square. The water will help to make sure that the layers stick together and they don’t burst open while baking.
Once you have put the water, then place another puff pastry square right on top and then another piece of guava paste in the middle. Repeat the process with the water, before placing the final puff pastry layer. Press down and gently stretch as needed to make sure that the edges are even. Then, take the pizza cutter and trim the edges of the square. This ensures an even shape and also it helps minimize the possibility that the layers will burst while baking. You will notice that you can barely differentiate the three layers of puff pastry when you look at the sides. Once a pastelillo is ready, then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.
Repeat the same process for each pastelillo. Place a piece of puff pastry on the bottom, and top it with guava paste, add water around the edges, then place another piece of puff pastry on top, top it with guava paste, add water around the edges and place the final piece of puff pastry on top. Gently press it down to ensure even edges and trim the edges.
We started with 18 squares of puff pastry and 12 pieces of guava paste, this will yield enough for 6 guava pastelillos. If you don’t have a pizza cutter, you could alternatively use a sharp knife or a pastry knife to trim the edges. Also, as I mentioned before, if you don’t have a brush, you can just use your finger to put the water around the edges.
When you have finished preparing your six pastelillos, then place the baking tray in the oven for 17 minutes at 375 degrees. After 17 minutes of baking, then rotate the baking tray and bake for another 17 minutes until they are golden brown. Once they are ready, remove the pastelillos from the oven and let them cool for 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes, we are now ready to sprinkle the powdered sugar. Use a sifter and sprinkle the sugar on top of the pastelillos. You can use as much or as little as you like. I probably sprinkled on the light side so feel free to add more if you like.
Once the pastelillos have been sprinkled with sugar, remove them from the baking tray and place them in a cooling rack until they are completely cool - about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that the guava paste inside is hot so you don’t want to burn yourself when you bite. Once cooled, enjoy!
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.