Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mango Papaya Pastelitos (Cuba)

When I interviewed my family at the closing of last year for our 2011 Wrap Up, one of the things that Preston and I both said that we wanted, was more food. After doing some searching for Cuban snacks, I discovered Pastelitos. Pastelitos are a snack made with puff pastry and can be filled with a variety of things, ranging from ground beef with spices, to various fruits. In Cuba, one of the most common sweet pastelitos is made with a guava marmalade. Since Aiden does not like guava (the kid is crazy!!!) and we already had mango and papaya in our refrigerator (usually used for morning smoothies), we opted to make ours filled with mango and papaya. Mango and Papaya are both fruits that are easily found in Cuba. I didn't find a recipe so I had to wing it, but I felt like it was a pretty safe thing to take that chance on. After a friend of mine who is Cuban mentioned that her grandmother never wrote any recipes down, I found in my search a saying that goes something like, "True Cubans don't need recipes, it is within them to know how to cook good food."  So, I decided that even though I have no Cuban heritage, I would channel my "inner Cuban" and rely on my intuition to cook this... besides, it's so simple that it almost felt as if I was cheating. 

They're ready. Although, it appears that Aiden is giving me the stare down, I'm sure it is saying, "Back away from the mango and papaya." 
Puff pastry sheets, still folded and thawing, 2 1/2 cups of mango and papaya mixed in a pot, sugar, measuring spoon and wooden spoon for mixing. (Later you'll also need melted butter and a basting brush.)
Aiden adding 1/4 cup of sugar to the mango and papaya. 
Eliana mixing the sugar in. 
After the kids added the sugar and mixed it, we moved the pot to the stove. We cooked the mixture over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the fruit had cooked down and was soft, and the juice and sugar had made a thick syrup.

After the puff pastry was thawed, we unfolded the sheets, then cut them into nine squares each.
Then, we brushed melted butter around the edges.
Put a little filling in the middle.
Folded them over to make triangles, and pinch around the edges to seal.
Before popping them into the oven, we brushed a little more melted butter on them and sprinkled a little sugar on top. Then in the oven they went for 15 minutes (400 degrees). 

Sampling the snack.
Do you see those eyes? That, my dear friends, is a look of approval. 
After eating a few of them, I decided that I had better put them away. If I had left them on the plate on the counter, they would be gone. They were just the right amount of sweet, without feeling like I was pumping the sugar to my kids. A tasty little afternoon treat. 

After we ate them, Aiden looked at me and said, "We definitely have to make these again!" I completely agree. 

Have you made any new treats lately or gone out on a limb and tried something new without a recipe?

Note: If you're thinking that these look similar to something else you've seen me blog about, you're right. We made appetizers when we learned about Pakistan, that were puff pastry filled with spiced potato. Check out that post here.


  1. Yum! And your kids are too cute. I lived in Australia and Canada for a while so I'll have to think about some of the foods I ate while there and introduce them to my kids. Thanks for the inspiration and for dropping by my blog, too!

  2. I am happy to have inspired the idea! Thank you for checking *my* blog out! I look forward to reading more of yours.

  3. Lovely blog and concept. So simpatico with what i'm doing. See and please weigh in at: Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

  4. Homa, Thank you for visiting my blog! I looked at yours and I also look forward to seeing more of your posts. I think it is so important to make sure that our kids know the world is bigger than our neighborhood.

  5. You got the caption right on that last pic- that is for sure a look of approval in Eli's eyes!


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