Perfect for holiday gift-giving (or selling), pastillas de leche is so easy to make if you start with homemade dulce de leche.
For non-Filipinos, “pastillas” is the generic term for milk-based confections. Often shaped like little logs, pastillas can also be bought in jars. Pastillas-making used to be a town industry in San Miguel, Bulacan. As I say “used to be” because the last time we were in San Miguel, there weren’t as many makers and sellers as there were when I was a child.
Pastillas are sold by the box in so many pasalubong establishments so it doesn’t seem to make sense making them at home. But, once you taste homemade pastillas — without extenders to lower the cost of production — you will be hooked at the pure creamy texture and the not-so-cloying sweetness.
All the ingredients are pantry staples. If you’ve made dulce de leche ahead of time, cooking time is very short. In fact, cooling the pastillas mixture prior to shaping them takes longer than the actual cooking.
Pastillas de Leche
- ½ can dulce de leche (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 cup powdered full cream milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons full cream milk (the kind you drink)
- 1 generous pinch salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (you may need more)
- In a pan over low heat, stir all the ingredients, except the sugar, until smooth.
- Cool the mixture to room temperature.
- Place the sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Form the cooked milk mixture into small logs.
- Drop the shaped pastillas directly into the sugar and roll to coat every inch of the surface.
- Arrange the pastillas de leche on a rack and leave to dry a bit before wrapping.
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