Guava & Cream Cheese Danish

If you want to make life better, bring guavas into your world.  Often people say that guavas taste like a cross between a ripe pear and strawberry but to me… well, it’s just guava.  Guavas are heavily perfumed when ripe, with their own distinct aroma.  In the islands and even here in south Florida, one can be knocked over by the fruit’s musky, sweet aroma when first entering markets, both closed and open air.  My little brother, Tommy, hated the scent as a little boy in our grandparent’s home in Puerto Rico.  Not me.  One sniff of the stuff  and I am transported back to our island kitchen.  As a little girl my heart gave a little skip when I spied our grandmother pulling out “the big pot”.  That meant guava paste and jelly was the project of the day and, if I was on best behavior, there was a very good chance I might score a taste.  As the day progressed, the enormous cauldron bubbled away on the stove filled with fresh, halved guavas, way too much sugar for anyone’s good and a splash of water.  The bouquet of the thick, simmering, fruit lava was released each time a fat bubble gurgled to the top of the pot, hinting at the exotic pleasures to come.  I adore guavas.  Achingly sweet, guava paste is a heady, too good to be true food, much like sweetened condensed milk… absolutely perfect.  A stolen teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk never lets me down, is glorious and unequaled, just like guava paste.  No one makes guava paste from scratch anymore.  With thick blocks sealed in airtight plastic readily available in markets and grocery stores, there is no need to heat up your kitchen, struggle with straining the seeds from a weighty pot to then make room in the refrigerator for gallons of paste or jelly.  I typically keep two or three blocks on hand.  This is my kind of pantry staple.  In Puerto Rico guava pastries are popular and widespread and can be found everywhere, from bakeries to gas stations .  They are typically enjoyed with strong, fragrant local coffee for breakfast or with a double or triple shot of espresso as a late morning pick me up.  Horrible for you but infinitely satisfying.  This recipe is a snap; it’s quick to prepare and easy to assemble.  All the ingredients are some of my pantry staples i.e. refrigerator ready to bake crescent rolls, guava paste and cream cheese.  Guava and cream cheese danish is perfect to serve at a brunch or with Sunday breakfast.  It can be assembled in advance and served hot or cold.  It can be presented in small, three-bite squares or sliced into larger portions.  You’re the boss here.  But have it with your favorite coffee.  They go together perfectly like gin and tonic or bacon and eggs.  Buen provecho!

Guava & Cream Cheese Danish

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 8-ounce boxes of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 14-ounce package guava paste, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 8-ounce cans ready to bake crescent rolls, chilled
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk, any kind will do, I use almond milk
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.  Lightly cover a 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine cream cheese and sugar and beat well with a hand held mixer.
  3. To cream cheese add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add cubed guava paste to the bowl and mix on high for 3-4 minutes.  The cheese mixture will turn a lovely pink color while still maintaining some guava paste chunks.
  5. Open one can of crescent rolls, unroll and lay in bottom of pan.  Gently stretch dough into corners and pinch seams together where dough has been cut.
  6. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over crescent roll dough and smooth cream cheese.
  7. Open second can of rolls, unroll dough and gently lay over cream cheese mixture.  Pinch seams to avoid leakage.
  8. Brush egg white over top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  9. In a small bowl whisk confectioner’s sugar, rum extract and milk.
  10. Cool for 15-20 minutes then brush on glaze.
  11. Slice and serve.  Cover leftovers and store in refrigerator.

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