Monday, September 24, 2012

Viva Guayaba!

Not many North American pastries have guava jelly as an ingredient. But the tropical fruit is a perfect pairing for sweets. It's aromatic and luscious, a little goes a long way, and it reminds you of summer. (which really seems like yesterday)

Fortunately for us, Mexican pastry shops are making guava pastries. And because it's the authentic thing to do, they use lard in the dough. This makes for quite a combination. Slightly savory dough is offset by the borderline cloying sweetness of jelly. Awesome.

Perfect with cafe con leche on a brisk fall morning. There are many more Mexican and Hispanic bakeries around than you may think. After all, who else is going to bake you a cake for your QuinceaƱera?

Here are two guava pastries that I am quite fond of. The first, being enormous, is great to share and has the distinct advantage of being 3 blocks from my house at La Nueva Union bakery.

Two large yellow cake halves are held together with just enough guava jelly to offset the dryness of the dough. The entire thing is covered with sugar. This was the first guava jelly pastry I've had, and since have had it many times. It's led me to look for guava jelly in many other places.

See how yellow that cake is! Also, do you see how little jelly is in there? It's cool though cause it's balanced just right.

In Spanish, the word for guava is Guayaba. So ask "Tienes algo con guayaba?" Which translates to, "do you have something with guava?"

This guava jelly pastry is a little different, and the cafe I got it from had fantastic coffee - strong and hot.
It has decidedly more guava jelly for the amount of pastry there is. It's also a layered and flaky dough. It was no less fantastic than the first pastry, but had considerably more jelly in the middle!

I suggest you go out early, find a nice Hispanic bakery or coffee shop get a coffee and a guava pastry, and close your eyes when you take the first bite.

Trust me.

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