Results of randomness... (Guava & Cheddar Phyllo Pouches w/ Passionfruit Sauce)

Usually Sometimes, my "quirky" and "whimsical" nature results in some odd contents appearing in my grocery cart - often in the form of an item that I have never worked with (or have no inkling what to do with) but has somehow caught my fancy.  I am sure I don't put those items in my cart.  I think they jump in there as I try to sneak by them.  Truly. 

I am not sure what bit of randomness landed me with a hunk of guava paste in my possession - I think it came home with a package of teff, some rice flour and peaches (seriously). One of those blurred moments in time and all that...

One of my favorite things to do is figuring out how I am going to use these odd bits of randomness that I come home with (I am sure that my tendency to pick up food items is far less troublesome than having a random affinity for stray animals...).  An activity that can amuse me for hours... which is probably a very little strange - but I like the challenge that comes along with it.  And when I find "that recipe", I feel like the "king of the hill". 

A little bit of research provided some feedback about handling.  An even quicker Google search brought me to BonAppetit.com where the perfect use awaited.  Since, part of the challenge was to find a recipe that contained ingredients already "in house", I was "tickled pink" to find a recipe where the main ingredients were guava paste, phyllo dough (I had a package in my freezer left over from this) & cheddar (refrigerator staple, of course - I had a goat milk cheddar on hand that I knew would be "perfect"). 

After conquering (kind of) the incredibly "artsy-craft" chicken b'stilla, I was so not afraid of making these little babies.  (Thank you Dorie & FFwD!)


Other than the frustrating frailty of the dough itself, the project could not have been easier...  (I upped the number of sheets per bundle from three to four - that extra sheet made a difference).

I know I am repeating myself, but for a project involving phyllo - this truly could not have been easier!

The play of the cayenne against the sweetness of the guava and the tanginess of the goat milk cheddar.  Wow.  Sweet with a hint of savory. 

Oh - as a bonus, I had a random can of passionfuit juice in the pantry and was able to "throw" together a syrup to go along with the pouches while they were in the oven - gilding the lily baby, gilding the lily.

I was a little nervous serving these - I knew I would like them.  Was pretty sure The Runner Girl would be on board.  The Dude?  Not so certain...  It was a bowl me over super bonus when The Dude loved them.  I had to pinch myself three times!

Goat Milk Cheese & Guava Phyllo Pouches
Adapted from Guava & Manchego Phyllo Pouches (Bon Appetit - May 2006)

1 cup 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes guava paste* (about 7 ounces)
1 cup 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes goat milk cheddar (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp. honey
9 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
12 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1.5 cups passion fruit juice
1 cup sugar

Toss first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to combine. Cover & chill until ready to use.

Stir sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface; keep remaining sheets covered to prevent drying (lightly damp paper towel works good - don't let it be too moist or your sheets will meld - not a pretty sight, trust me).  Brush phyllo with butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp sugar mixture. Repeat 3 more times to make 4 layers. Cut rectangle in half crosswise, making two 6x8" stacks (a pizza cutter makes quick work of this).  Place scant 1/3 cup filling in center of each stack. Gather sheets around filling to form pouch. Transfer to small baking sheet lined with parchment (it's a preventative measure in case you have any leakage - keeps things from getting soggy). Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 6 pouches total. 

Meanwhile, make syrup.  Bring sugar & juice to boil over medium-high heat until sauce thickens.  I made mine on the thicker side, but it would also be good left thinner to serve more as a drizzle. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake phyllo pouches uncovered until golden brown and filling is heated through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates. Spoon syrup alongside; serve phyllo pouches warm.


  1. These look great! I like the whimsy of these pouches and the delicious filling.

  2. What pretty bundles! Funny how those things just appear in the grocery cart. :) I'm glad they were a hit! If I find some guava paste, I'd like to give this recipe a try.

  3. I LOVE it when this happens! The internet makes it so much easier, but you still have to have the COURAGE to do it. I agree that your b'stilla experience opened the door to this creation! Bravo!

  4. I love the addition of the cayenne! Totally with you, sometimes I buy something for one recipe and it sits for a while. Then I have to think up ways on how to use the rest of it.

  5. I still have a box of phylo left over from youknowwhat and this looks fun. Lately I am really loving the juxtoposition of cayenne and sweet things.


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