Durian Pastillas

Evaporated milk is all the rage in the Philippines. It's the favored sweetener, and poured atop most desserts from halo-halo to the morning serving of tahu. Pastillas, or candied milk, may be the epitome of the Filipino penchant for sweetened milk. It's essentially milk mixed with sugar and flavorings and boiled to form a thick caramel, and then rolled in more sugar. Like everything Filipino, pastillas are extreme in their sweetness.

While the word pastilla originates from the Spanish language, the pastilla is uniquely Filipino and has nothing to do with Spanish sweets. For a long explanation of the history of the pastilla, see Sugar Pills: Pastillas de leche by a Manila food blogger who either really loves pastillas or has far too much time on her hands. According to the article, the best and most authentic pastillas are made out of the milk of the carabao, a subspecies of the water buffalo native to the Philippines.

picture from chefsketches.blogspot.com

Being a vegan, I've never tasted pastillas and can't attest to which milk is best. If you're living outside of the Philippines where caribao milk isn't available, the basic cows milk in a can should be just fine.

Durian Pastillas
Recipe from http://pinoynegosyo.blogspot.com


  • 4 cups durian pulp
  • 2 cups evaporated milk  
  • 4 cups sugar
1. Mix the milk and sugar.
2. Cook over low fire, stirring constantly until about to thicken.
3. Add durian pulp and continue stirring until the mixture forms into a hard ball.

4. Cut into pieces and roll with more sugar if desired. Wrap individually in colored plastic wrap or wax paper.

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