This is a Quesito (Ke-see-toe) and it is delicious. Seriously, it is so perfect in its simplicity; flaky puff pastry wrapped around sweetened cream cheese and buttery pineapple. And it’s beautiful, in a shabby chic kind of way, nothing fussy, just rustic goodness with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. The best thing is that you can whip this together in about 5 minutes and instantly satisfy your craving for something sweet. I’ve made them three times for breakfast since I returned from Puerto Rico. You see, I am desperately grasping to my memories of being there. I just returned, less than a week ago, and already I miss it. It was paradise, which is enough to make one long for its sandy shores, perfect weather, gorgeous waters, friendly people, and the discovery of Puerto Rican pastries like Mallorca and the quesitos. But, returning to Minnesota and having to shovel my car out from the snow, in APRIL, was frankly, more than I was mentally prepared to handle. So, I make quesitos, shut my eyes, hold a shell to my ear and pretend I am still lying on the beach.
You can too! (This picture is of the swimming beach in Rincon – if you’d like to visit, I suggest you check out the website by Chelsea Harms, whose recommendations for everything from hotels, surfing lessons and snorkeling spots, were the foundation for our perfect vacation.)
2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
Cream cheese filling:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
egg wash (1 egg beat with 1 tablespoon water)
Sugar for sprinkling on the pastry
Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar for dusting the baked pastry
To make the quesitos:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
In saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, add the brown sugar, pineapple and vanilla bean, with the seeds. Cook until the pineapple is tender and the juices have thickened to a syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly while you make the cheese filling.
To make cheese filling: In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Cut the puff pastry into 4 to 5-inch squares, depending on the size of the puff pastry sheet you have. Spread the cheese filling in the middle of each piece of pastry.
Place the pineapples over the cheese filling. Brush the points of the pastry with the egg wash. Fold one side over the filling, then tuck the other point under the pastry, to create a roll.
Tuck the points under the filled pastry, which will puff up high and keep the filling in the center.
Brush with more egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. You may have to rotate the two trays, top to bottom and back to front, to make sure they are baking evenly.
They will be light and puffy when they are done. Allow them to cool.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
They are fantastic with a cup of coffee, an espresso or any rum drink.
For those of you who are still suffering through winter, even though it is spring, here are some pictures to gaze at and dream of being warm while you eat your Puerto Rican pastries.
Puerto Rico has gorgeous beaches (This is an island off of the coast of Fajardo, where we went paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling. That’s what we did when I didn’t have my feet up, book in hand and sipping a rum drink.)
Not to mention the mind blowing rain forest…
and the history and charm of old San Juan. Yep, it was all fantastic.