Move Over, Pumpkin Pie from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

Martas kitchen logo 1 copy-1
So, I’m still on my quixotic quest of declaring November as National Guava Month. To that end, I am happy to share my recipe for Guava Cheesecake in time for you to make it for “El Sanguibin.”

Of course, the main ingredient in cheesecake is cream cheese, which is inexorably tied to Philadelphia (thank you, Kraft Foods). And when you think of Philadelphia, you inevitably think of liberty. At least, I do. (You know, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin and all that…)

But you know…we Cubans love our guayaba con queso crema. (Guava with cream cheese.)

And yes, I know that Thanksgiving is a purely American holiday. But I offer you this thought:

Once you add the guava, the quintessential Cuban fruit of choice, to the oh-so American cream cheese base, it becomes a wonderful representation of us Cuban-Americans.

Therefore, it is my strong belief that Guava Cheesecake should be THE dessert staple of every liberty-loving, Cuban-American family’s Thanksgiving holiday celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving, my guava-and-cream-cheese-loving friends.

Oh yes… and Happy National Guava Month! =D

guava cheesecake

Guava Cheesecake

1 3/4 cups  sugar, divided
1  1/4 cup  graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Cooking spray
1/2  cup  water
1/2  cup lime juice
8  ounces  guava paste, cut into small pieces (about 1/2 a bar)
5 large egg whites, divided
1/2  cup sour cream
2  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2  tsp.  vanilla extract
1/8  tsp.  salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine 1/4-cup sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of the springform pan.

press graham cracker crumbs

4. Bake at 400° for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
6. Combine 1/2-cup sugar, 1/2-cup water, lime juice, and guava paste in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

melting guava
7. Pour mixture into a blender, and process until smooth. Cool completely. Stir in 1 of the egg whites.

guava in blender

8. Combine remaining ingredients: sugar, sour cream, and cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. Gradually add remaining 4 egg whites, beating well after adding each one.

cream cheese in blender

9. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared pan.

cheese mixture on crust

10. Drizzle guava mixture over cheese mixture.

pouring guava on cheesecake

11. Swirl them together using the tip of a knife.

swirl with knife

12. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when touched. (It may crack a little along the edges.)
13. Turn the oven off; cool cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes.
14. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge.

guava cheesecake in pan

15. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
16. Cover and chill at least 8 hours before serving.

11 thoughts on “Move Over, Pumpkin Pie from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen”

  1. Oh Marta….now I’m really in trouble! I am salivating (actually drooling heavily) on my keyboard. I was planning to make a guava/cream cheese pie, but this sounds soooooooooo much better.

  2. Marta, you’ve gone too far. The FDA is dispatching agents to your house as we speak. Nancy Pelosi will soon make you illegal. This kind of richness can no longer be allowed.

  3. Isn’t “la contra” a little extra of something that the bodeguero would give you when you bought something in la bodega? And the “caprichitos” some sort of treat for the kids, also courtesy of el bodeguero? I am not sure about los caballitos, but my Mom and and my Grandma used to tell me stories of those times (obviously, before 1959) because abuelo and abuela had a little bodega and a fondita in Guane…

  4. Marta, your idea of melting the guava paste for the cheesecake makes me thing that we, Cubanitas stranded away from the Miami homeland, could use that method to make “homemade” mermelada de guayaba, to eat with queso amarillo Gouda, no?

    There is! another recipe for our Guava’s Month!

    And if you have mermelada de guayaba, then you can definitively have batido de guayaba, without ever touching the real fruit. I know it might not be the same, but, C’com, we need to be resourful in these far away kingdoms!

    And, also with mermelada de guayaba, we could aim for a homemade guava ice cream, loaded in leche condensada…

    and, and, and… 🙂

  5. Val, my mom concurs with Cubanita. She says she remembers my grandmother asking for “la contra” in salt.

    Getting a “little extra something” in Cuba?? Go figure.


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