I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.
Pastillas, or pastillas de leche, comes from the Spanish for "milk pills." Despite the origin of its name, this famous delicacy originated in the Philippines.
Traditionally, pastillas are made from the milk of a carabao, which is the native Filipino water buffalo. The milk is combined with butter and sugar and then cooked thoroughly to form a paste. Continuous stirring is required to avoid scorching.
Since I did not have fresh carabao milk in my refrigerator, I decided to try using powdered milk instead. The result turned out well, so I'd like to share my technique with my readers. I imagine that fresh carabao milk may be hard to find in many parts of the world, but by using powdered milk, you can enjoy this Filipino delicacy in your own home.
- 1 1/4 cups powdered milk
- 1/4 cup condensed milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Oil, for molding
- 2 large bowls
- 1 medium bowl
- measuring cups
For Molding and Packaging Homemade Pastillas:
- container or sealed plastic or cellophane wrap
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
- Mix powdered milk and condensed milk together in a bowl.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour or until the mixture becomes firm.
- Once set, remove the bowl from the refrigerator.
- Oil palm of your hands to help you easily roll the mixture.
- Start with a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball or a cylindrical shape. Do the same with the rest of the mixture. You should end up with 30 equal-sized pieces, give or take.
- Coat the pastillas with sugar and arrange them on a plate.
- Chill again for 1 hour or more before serving.
Three-Ingredient Pastillas: Recipe Video
Tips and Techniques
- Choose any brand of powdered milk.
- Use flavored condensed milk such as ube, chocolate, buko pandan, etc.
- Replace the powdered milk with chocolate cocoa powder, if desired.
- Add any extracts or essences you prefer; e.g., mango, banana, pineapple, etc.
- Make sure the mixture is sufficiently chilled. This will make the dough easier to shape.
Other Milk Candies
- How to Make Ube Pastillas: A Filipino-Inspired Delicacy With a Twist
Pastillas are a famous Filipino sweet milk-based treat. This particular recipe features an all-time favorite Filipino flavor, ube (purple yam).
- How to Make Pastimallows
Have you ever heard of pastimallows? It is a combination of pastillas and marshmallows. Try this famous milk-based sweet delicacy with a twist that originated in the Philippines.
Questions & Answers
Question: What powdered-milk brand would you recommend to use in making this pastillas?
Answer: I'm using a local brand, Alaska. It isn't too sweet.
Question: How can I store these pastillas and for how long?
Answer: I usually store mine inside the refrigerator for two weeks up to months. If you are living in countries that have cold weather, you may keep it in cold areas of your house. It's similar to how supermarkets store it on their shelves. This recipe is preservative-free so proper storage is necessary so that the milk won't get spoiled.
Question: Can I use buttermilk in making pastillas?
Answer: Buttermilk has a different taste compared to regular milk so I wouldn't recommend it.
Question: How can I mold the pastillas in my hand without sticking in my hand?
Answer: Apply a small amount of oil in palms/hands from time to time. This helps in preventing pastillas from sticking if using bare hands. Also, make sure you achieved the right consistency of the pastillas.
© 2018 Travel Chef
Travel Chef (author) from Manila on October 11, 2018:
I used powdered milk in here so you don't really need to use any liquid milks. Try it! You will love it for sure!
Liz Westwood from UK on October 11, 2018:
I think I might struggle to get carabao milk in the UK. But I am wondering whether I could experiment with other milk.
Travel Chef (author) from Manila on October 05, 2018:
I love eating pastillas as well. I enjoy any flavor of it. This recipe is not the traditional way of making one but the taste is the same.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 05, 2018:
As a child, I love eating pastillas.
Travel Chef (author) from Manila on October 04, 2018:
They originated in the Philippines during Spanish colonization. It's the reason why people back then used a Spanish term to name the dish.
Tori Leumas on October 04, 2018:
This looks interesting. I've never heard of pastillas before. Where do they originate?