October 16, 2015

Pastillas De Leche

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Pastillas de leche literally means milk bars, pills, or tablets. I'd go with the bars, as in chocolate bars They are teeny tiny, usually less than 1 inch long and ½ inch thick, made with fresh milk, sugar, a little butter, and powdered milk, and optional natural fruit flavoring such as purple yam (ube) and jackfruit. The original candies were made with carabao's (water buffalo) milk which has a higher fat content than cow's milk. I made it a few times before. This time I ended up making 3 batches because the first was a complete fail although I rescued it and made it into milk caramel spread. The second one is plain milk and I added Milo malt drink powder into the third batch.

Philippine Pastillas De Leche (Soft Milk Bars)
makes about 20 candies


plain milk and with Milo malted milk pastillas de leche

2 cups fresh whole milk (do not use reduced fat milk)
1½ tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons butter
3 - 4 tablespoons whole milk powder
2 tablespoons sugar for rolling
  • Boil milk and 1½ tablespoons sugar over medium low heat to a paste, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. (This takes about 45 minutes.)
  • Remove from heat and add butter. Stir well; sprinkle milk powder and blend well. Let cool slightly, transfer onto a work surface and knead a few times until smooth.
  • Divide in half and roll each half into a ½-inch thick rope. Cut into 10 pieces. Roll in sugar and wrap each candy in tissue paper.
The first batch developed a caramel color and curdled, probably because I used a small thin-bottomed saucepan. I didn't throw it away because it tastes so good. I like that it has very little sugar, much better than the super sweet condensed milk caramel (dulce de leche). I used a hand blender to make the spread very smooth. Perfect topped on breakfast toast.


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