I went on a trip to Mexico a few weeks ago. It was my first time there and I didn’t know what to expect. My main concerns were A. getting sick B. getting a sunburn on day one and ruining the week. Luckily both of those were avoided and I had a very relaxing trip. I made sure to scope out the pastry counters at the buffet.
Let’s start with a picture of the beach to prove I was in Mexico.
This is Drew who was also very concerned about getting a sunburn. You can also see from this picture that I was very busy looking glamorous with my floppy hat and big sunglasses.
Room service breakfast! I included this picture because of the plate of breads and pastries. This seems to be very common in Mexico. An assorted plate with sweet and savoury breads at any time of the day. This is exactly the kind of food ritual I’m into.
There were black sesame seeds on everything. These were very similar to a bagel in texture but they had a soft crust.
Mexico has a great way with pound cake. I have a million more pictures of their different pound cakes if you’re interested. I chose to include this cherry, coconut, vanilla one because I was so inspired by this flavour combination.
Here’s Drew again. This is a very common look I get from him when I run around taking pictures of food.
Let’s talk about these buns. Conchas, Mexican Sweet Buns, Pan Dulces, whatever. They are incredible. Its like a fluffy, yeasted donut inside with sugar paste outside. Oh my god, such interesting little nuggets! I plan to make these very soon.
This is the inside that I was just telling you about.
Okay, now onto the donuts. I definitely wasn’t expecting to see this on our first morning visit to the buffet. No one ever took those massive ones from what I saw.
These are the little baby donuts they would keep in the back. The front was like the no nonsense “I just want a donut” place to go. But then in the back left corner of the buffet there were these smaller filled donuts. They had interesting flavour combinations. For example, that front one there is a passionfruit cream filled donut with a caramel glaze and coconut.
These confused me. They had these rolls in so many flavour combinations and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I believed it to be a cinnamon bun. One day I took one with rainbow sprinkles to figure out what it was. No cinnamon, no filling. Just rolled dough with the texture of a tres leches cake. I don’t know, it was a wild ride eating that.
Let me show you my vanilla! I bought a lot because I wanted to. I really wish I had a picture of Drew during this shopping trip. Picture the face in the buffet but sitting outside. He was very, very patient during this which was very appreciated. Also, I couldn’t really make any decisions so I bought them all. That Elixir has FIVE times as many vanilla beans as in regular vanilla.
Since I went to an all-inclusive I decided everything was mine. Drew and I teamed up to steal as much of this pineapple jam possible. This stuff is so good. It’s fresh and punchy and sweet. I imagined so many ways to bake with it and wanted to bring it all home (much like the vanilla).
I came up with these. Pineapple jam stuffed into flaky pie crust topped with a Mexican vanilla glaze. They are perfect. You don’t need to steal the jam from a buffet but it makes it more fun.
Start with some pastry. I used my go to pastry recipe for this one. Roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
I wanted small tarts and I wanted them to be rectangular. I saw this nutrition label on a box in the recycling bin and decided it would do the job.
Then you pair them up with a matching friend and stick about a tablespoon of jam on one. If you’re using jam packets you will need about 6 in total (hopefully you are because thats funny). Otherwise about 1/2 cup of jam.
I sealed and brushed them with maple syrup. An egg wash is also a great option. You need to make sure you press down with the fork at this stage to avoid the jam from bursting out. I froze mine at this point for about 25 minutes since I had been working with the dough so much.
So some of my jam busted out. It’s okay.
I mixed up a simple glaze and added a whole lot of vanilla to make sure we could taste it. Mexican vanilla is darker and sweeter than any other vanilla I have ever tasted.
Then you just spread some on and let it fall beautifully down the sides. I threw some sprinkles on there.
There they are. Amazing.
Pineapple Jam Poptarts with Mexican Vanilla Glaze
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup ice water
3 tbsp vodka
1/2 cup pineapple jam
1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt
- Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture using two forks. You’re looking for pea sized balls of pastry at this point. You don’t want to add the water until you have fully coated the flour with the butter (otherwise it turns gummy)
- Add ice water and vodka to the pastry and continue cutting in using two forks until the pastry comes together
- Roll the dough into a ball and cover with saran wrap. Keep it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove from fridge 20 minutes before you are ready to roll
- Roll the pastry to a 1/4 thickness and cut out using any shape of your choice.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the jam on the pastry pieces. Spread maple syrup around the edges and place the second piece of pastry on top. Press down using a fork and leave holes with the fork on the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Freeze for about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Remove and allow the tarts to cool completely.
Mexican Vanilla Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
3 tbsps heavy cream
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Whisk together the icing sugar, heavy cream and salt. Add in the vanilla.
- Spoon about a tablespoon on top of each of the pastries and decorate with sprinkles!