The Homemade Durian Candies and Pastillas

I wanted to break the durian open but I never know how. I mean I never knew the proper way. I might damage the seed and pulp upon opening. I have been hearing the proper way of opening the fruit from my colleagues but never had a chance to see it actual. My only choice was a guessing game.

While assessing  the fruit from a distance, I noticed five vague lines drawn from the stalk down to fruit tip. The numerous spines covering the fruit made the line  almost unnoticeable. The lines were equally spaced that it divided the fruit into five parts.  Maybe I should cut the fruit along the lines, and that was what I did.  I carefully cut two adjacent lines with a saw knife. I made the cut not too deep to prevent any possible pulp and seed damage.

durian durian showing fruit divisionsVoila! I was not sure if I did it right but no seeds and pulp were harmed. Forgot to take a shot of intact flesh though. I continued opening the fruit by cutting the other vague lines.

opened durian fruit large and small durian seedsHmm! Yummy!

The  delectable pulp was notoriously sticking to my fingers. It might be a good material for holding sugar and milk powder together. Besides, no one wanted to eat it but me so I decided to take it to the next level, making a durian candy or pastillas.

I discarded all the seeds and added enough sugar to taste. Taking off the seeds was a real mess. Mixed the two materials thoroughly until well blended.  Added and mixed powdered milk continually until it became tacky and could be form into  candies or pastillas. Sprinkled corn starch to my hand and began forming the final products. Cornstarch was necessary to prevent the mixture from sticking to hand.

durian pulp and sugar durian pulp  sugar and milk dough homemade durian pastillas and candy

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

The Common Pastillas/Yema Plastic Wrapper

I bought my first plastic pastillas/yema wrapper. The bakery supplies staff handed me the orange colored transparent plastic.  It was neatly folded and each fold fits one pastillas roll, a regular pastillas roll.  I had no other choice, this was the only available type they had.

yema pastillas plastic wrapper

I laid the wrapper down on a clean table. Cut several squares with a clean scissors. I tried all my best to make it as clean as possible. Prevented any possible  sources of contamination. Then wrapped the freshly made pastillas de leche.

Looking back. The store staff got the wrapper and placed it in cellophane with bare hands. I never clearly saw where did she get it. Did it has any sort of protection against microbes and other contaminants?

Provided that product, staff and working environment are sanitary, how can I assure the safety of this plastic wrapper? Is it biologically safe? It cannot be sterilized in oven for sure. Chemical contamination can be detected by sight (sand, dust), smell (ammonia, chlorine, cologne) or feel (oils and liquids). Microbial analysis needs a costly and labor intensive laboratory testing.

Our mini oven got busted recently so I cannot conduct any test. I just dipped it in boiling water for a quick heat resistance test. Maybe it could be sterilized at 100ºC if it can withstand boiling water.

I dipped it in recently boiled water for about five seconds. The water became slight orange and the wrapper got softer – a sign of color migration and heat sensitiveness. At normal temperature, the color might migrate to food as well. Not quite sure but the probability is likely. The orange pigment type and safety are also unknown.

plastic wrapper in very hot water

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

From Polvoron to Pastillas de Leche

Let us compare these two sweets, the polvoron and pastillas de leche.

Polvoron uses flour, sugar, powdered milk and butter as basic ingredients. Pastillas uses powdered milk and condensed milk as basic ingredients. A milk fortified with another milk. Both are solid products. The first is drier, uses butter as binder and crumbles easily to touch. The latter is more moist, uses condensed milk as binder and able to transform its shape according to external pressure. They are both made of powder added with certain binder to retain it shape. Then the same set of ingredients can be used to create either or both products.

I tried using pastillas de leche ingredients to make polvoron and the first. The popular ingredients for making pastillas are:

2 cups powdered milk, skimmed milk or popular commercial brands
1 can condensed milk, 300 ml or 390 g
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling of formed pastillas

To make pastillas de leche: Place condensed milk in a large bowl. Add the powdered milk and mix thoroughly. Set aside for ten minutes. Form to desired shape and size. Roll on sugar and wrap.

The above ingredient amounts and procedure are tested and making mistakes is minimal. Excess milk will result to wet and soft pastillas, too dry otherwise. Follow these instead if in doubt: Place powdered milk in a large bowl. Add condensed milk gradually  while mixing. It is ready for molding when very tacky or hard to mix.

To make polvoron: Place powdered milk in large bowl. Add condensed milk gradually while mixing until it can be molded with a strike of polvoron maker. Be careful not to add too much liquid. The polvoron will stick to metal side and removing will be hard. In case of this mistake, add more powder to counteract or forget the polvoron and make pastillas de leche instead.

polvoron and pastillas de leche

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.