Pastillas de Leche, or milk pills, are a sweet Filipino delicacy made by boiling milk with sugar and other ingredients. Follow this step-by-step guide to making this delicious treat.
There is a shortcut version of making these soft milk candies using condensed milk and powdered milk, and this is not it. This recipe takes slightly longer but yields an authentic taste like the Bulacan delicacies. Make a big batch as a gift-giving idea or just to satisfy your anytime cravings.
This pastillas de leche recipe only uses a few ingredients and is the perfect sweet treat. Making the candies will give you soft and creamy in texture combined with buttery, milky flavors. Enjoy these melt in you mouth, milk candies as dessert or snack.
What Is Patillas de Leche
Pastillas are also known as milk tablets or pastiyema that has many variations depending on the province. Some locals add peanuts, chocolate, mango, ube, when making pastillas de leche for variety.
These delicacies are traditionally made with carabao milk and sugar along with citrus extract like calamansi (Philippine lime) to balance the richness. You can find these confections usually sold in sari-sari stores or groceries along with other delicacies like yema balls and puffed rice.
Best Milk To Use
You can make the candies by using either carabao milk or fresh cow’s milk. Using fresh milk may be the first option most of us will try especially if living abroad since its available in any grocery store. Make sure to use whole milk to avoid it from curdling when boiling.
If you can find carabao (water buffalo) milk, then go for it because that is how it’s made traditionally. It also gives a richer taste due to carabao’s milk high-fat content. Whatever is available to you between the two, the cooking process is the same.
Notes on Ingredients
How To Wrap
There is no need to wrap the candies if your making them for personal consumption. But, if you plan on giving them out or selling them, I think it’s a good idea to make the look presentable. Here is a quick and easy way to do it!
1. Regularly stir and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan during cooking to avoid burning and film from forming.
2. Cook the milk in low heat to prevent scorching and lumps from forming.
3. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon with a non-stick pan to make cooking easier.
4. Let the cooked milk mixture cool down first before rolling.
How To Serve And Store
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Pastillas de Leche
- 6 cups fresh milk (or carabao's milk)
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup powdered milk
- In a non-stick pan or skillet over low heat, pour fresh milk.6 cups fresh milk
- Bring to a gentle simmer then add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.6 tbsp sugar
- Cook for 45 – 55 minutes while regularly stirring or until milk is reduced and paste-like in texture.
- Remove from heat then while still warm add butter. Mix until butter dissolves and incorporated.1 tbsp butter
- Transfer in a bowl then add powdered milk. Mix until fully incorporated and soft dough forms. Let it completely cool down or until cool to touch.2/3 cup powdered milk
- Transfer dough into a clean flat surface then roll into a 4 inch log and divide into 4 equal pieces.
- Take one piece and roll into a 10 inch cylinder then cut into 10 equal pieces.
- Roll smaller pieces into 1 inch length cylinders. Repeat process with the rest of the dough.
- Dredge pastillas in sugar to coat and wrap if you wish to. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!