Strawberry Guava & Cream Hand PiesThursday, April 02, 2015
Lately I have been missing Florida, pies and fresh fruit, so I suppose this dessert was the result of my daydreaming. It's not quite strawberry season, but roasting berries brings out the sweetness just enough for these to be worth trying now. I started out with an idea for little strawberry pies with cream cheese and a hint of cardamom. As I was digging around for the cream cheese I found a leftover block of guava paste in the back of the fridge from a barbecue sauce I made awhile back. If you've ever been lucky enough to have a pastelito in South Florida, you know what happened next...
Y'all ever had Cuban pastries? Heaven. Pastelitos de guayaba. I'm going in... pic.twitter.com/Ff9XNptKcQ— The Kitchenista (@MissAngelaDavis) July 12, 2013
Strawberries and guava are a perfect marriage. The guava paste is so sticky sweet that the strawberries didn't need to be sweetened much at all. It also helped make a nice thick filling that didn't spill out too much despite macerated strawberries being pretty juicy. Hand pies are, for me at least, notoriously difficult compared to baking a whole pie. I have scrapped many a batch of hand pies that either fell apart as I attempted to fill and close them, or exploded inside the oven. I adjusted my method a bit this time, opting to seal two sheets of pie dough together instead of folding one over on itself. It was much easier to maneuver and allowed me to get a bit more filling in there. I'm all for pie crust but it was the creamy, fruity filling I really wanted to enjoy here. These are perfect for a casual dessert, but would also make a great appearance at breakfast or brunch.
At any rate, don't be too intimidated if the process ends up being more challenging than you expected...it's still very much worth a shot. These aren't perfect by my standards, but they were yummy and I kind of like the rustic appeal of unperfectly baked pies, stained with bright red strawberry syrup. Some day I'd love to take this flavor profile further, so I'm already brainstorming as to how I'll use my leftover strawberries and guava paste. But for now, this was a dose of nostalgia and a taste of warmer, brighter days that I am very much craving.