Pastilla recipes can be found all over Romania.
They’re usually served at Christmas or on holidays like Easter.
What Is The Difference Between A Recipe And A Formula?
A recipe tells you exactly what ingredients need to go into it in order to make something delicious.
A formula does not include measurements, but rather sets out rules for making an item.
For example, if I were to give you a recipe for chocolate cake, I would tell you how many eggs you needed (two), how much flour you should add (one cup) and so forth.
When we talk about formulas, we are talking about ratios and proportions.
If I gave you this same recipe, but told you that there was one egg instead of two, then your cake wouldn’t work because the ratio of eggs to flour has changed.
(In case you weren’t aware, eggs have approximately 16 grams of protein per 100 grams.)
The concept of ratio is important when cooking.
There are ratios everywhere! When baking bread, for instance, you want enough yeast to raise the dough to double its size.
But the number of cups of water to use depends entirely upon the type of bread you are trying to bake.
You might also find other ratios such as 1 teaspoon salt to 3 tablespoons sugar to 2 cups whole milk.
These recipes set up guidelines for the baker, but they do not necessarily provide exact amounts of ingredients.
Instead, these quantities serve only as suggestions.
If you try to follow a recipe that doesn’t contain any specific instructions as to how long to cook or how much liquid to put in, you will probably end up with a failure.
Recipes don’t always specify when to remove items from heat either.
In some cases, this information isn’t even included.
This means that you will have to test-cook each batch until you get it right.
That’s why it’s best to stick to tried and true methods whenever possible.
What Is The Difference Between A Recipe And A Method?
A recipe is simply an instruction to cook something.
Recipes are written in English, but they don’t have any measurements involved.
If you were making a cake without measuring cups, a recipe would tell you how many eggs to use, what kind of flour to purchase, and so on.
A recipe doesn’t always include instructions about ingredients that may not be readily available (like powdered milk), it just tells you what things to buy when possible.
A method is different from a recipe because it has steps that need to be followed exactly.
For example, if you were baking cookies, your recipe might say “bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes before turning off the oven.
Then let them cool completely before serving them.” That sounds easy enough, right? But if you didn’t follow those exact directions, you could ruin your cookies.
A method makes sure that everything happens in order.
How Do You Make A Pastila Recipe?
The first step to making this sweet treat is gathering your materials together.
You need a large bowl, two baking sheets, an electric mixer (or hand-held blender), and a pastry brush.
If you want to take this recipe seriously, you should also have a rolling pin, but it isn’t strictly necessary.
Now that everything has been gathered, let’s get started!
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Add remaining ingredients into the large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Spread the batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets using a pastry brush. Make sure not too much air gets into the batter while spreading it out.
- Bake the pastilas in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before removing them from their pan.
- Lay another sheet of phyllo on top of the previous layer, brushing each piece liberally with butter. Repeat these steps until you reach the desired number of layers.
- Once all of the pastilas have been assembled, gently roll them up tightly. Place them back onto the second baking sheet and bake them again at 350 degrees F (177 C) for about 10 more minutes.
- Remove the pastilas from the oven and cut them into bite size pieces when they are completely cooled down.
What Are The Ingredients In A Pastila Recipe?
There are many different types of pastillas in Romania.
Some have dried fruit inside while others include chocolate chips.
Some also contain nuts.
Others use raisins instead of dried fruit.
- Nutella (or hazelnut spread)
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter
- Dried apricots
- Fruit cocktail
- Mixed nuts
The process to making a pastila recipe
Romanian pastillas are typically made from layers of phyllo dough that are soaked in syrup.
You will need about 15 sheets of phyllo dough for this recipe.
Each sheet should be 8-10 inches long.
Lay one sheet down on your work surface.
Brush a small amount of water across it using paper towels.
Repeat until you end up with six sheets.
Place them together so they align vertically.
Now place two tablespoons of nut filling along the top edge of each sheet.
Fold both sides inward to form a triangle shape, then fold the bottom upward to create an envelope.
Repeat steps 4 through 6 until you reach eight triangles per layer.
When you get to the middle layer, leave a space between the other five triangles to allow room for the next layer.
Once you finish the last layer, cut off any excess edges.
Using scissors, carefully cut into squares leaving 1/4 inch around the edges.
These will become the tops of the candies.
Once you complete these steps, let the pastillas sit in a dry area overnight before transferring them to the fridge to set for 24 hours.
How Do You Measure The Ingredients In A Pastila Recipe?
The main ingredient in this recipe is flour.
You will need about 2 cups (about 500 grams) of it to make 1 batch of pastillas.
You also need almond paste, which is available in most grocery stores these days.
It comes in small packages that contain roughly 3 ounces (90 grams).
If you don’t have any, you could use peanut butter instead.
To measure out your almond paste, just place it into a measuring cup and level off the top using a flat edge, such as a knife blade or spatula.
Then add water until you reach the line marked on the side of the cup where you want to end up.
Next, take two teaspoons full of powdered sugar and stir it into the almond paste until there aren’t any lumps left.
Don’t worry if some clump together – they’ll dissolve when you cook them.
Once everything has been measured out, put the bowl aside so that you can work on the next step.
If you don’t own a pastry blender, then you can simply mix the ingredients together with a fork.
Just be sure not to mash too much of the almonds against each other because you won’t get the proper thickness of layers.
Now you can start making the first layer of pastillas.
Take one sheet of phyllo dough, cut it into four equal pieces, and set it down on a clean surface.
Take another piece of phyllo dough and cover the bottom half of the first sheet, using an offset spatula or a blunt knife tip to press it firmly against the first sheet.
Make sure that nothing sticks to the back of the second sheet while you’re doing this.
Then take three tablespoons (45 ml) of your almond-sugar mixture and spread it evenly across the entire surface of the second sheet, leaving enough space between each bit of sugar.
Next, sprinkle the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of almond-sugar mixture onto the center of the second sheet.
Don’t touch the edges of the first sheet yet! Once you finish covering the middle third of the second sheet, carefully lift up the bottom portion of the second sheet and gently fold the sides inward toward the center.
Be careful not to tear the dough.
Repeat with the rest of the sheets, stacking them on top of each other.
When you’ve finished laying out all of the layers, lightly brush the edges of the final sheet with melted butter.
Place the stacked sheets on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Set them near the oven but outside of the direct heat source.
Bake the pastillas for 15 minutes.
Turn the oven setting down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius), remove the pan from the oven, and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.
Let cool completely before moving on to the next steps.
What Is The Cooking Time And Temperature For A Pastila Recipe?
Most pastila recipes call for a specific amount of water to ensure that the dough doesn’t dry out during the process.
The water should be added slowly so as not to cook the dough too much.
Once enough water has been added, the pan will start boiling rapidly.
When the steam starts escaping from under the lid of the pot, it means the bottom layer of phyllo has started browning (this takes about 10 minutes).
Once the first two layers are fully cooked, remove them from the heat and let cool slightly before peeling off each layer.
Then stack these layers one on top of another until you have used up all of the dough.
You may need more than three layers if the dough was very wet.
You also want to make sure that there are no air pockets between the layers.
If you try to cut through any of the layers, they won’t turn golden brown quickly enough.
It only takes a few seconds for the top layer to become crispy.
Be careful not to burn yourself!
When the final layer is ready, use a sharp knife to slice into small squares.
Try not to leave big gaps between the pieces because this will prevent the entire batch of pastillas from turning out uniformly golden brown.
This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how thick your dough is.
You will know that it’s finished once the dough gets hard to handle but still soft enough to bend without cracking.
That’s when you’ll flip it upside down onto a clean surface and peel away the last layer of the pastry.
If you don’t want to wait for the pastillas to cool completely, then you can place them directly on an ungreased cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes.
Let them cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.
How Do You Know When A Pastila Is Done Cooking?
You will need to start this recipe once your ingredients have been prepared.
You first prepare the filling and then assemble the pastry.
It takes about 30 minutes from beginning to end.
The most important thing to remember is that the process isn’t quick! When working with phyllo dough, it’s best not to rush things.
Take your time, and don’t try to cut corners in order to save time.
If you’re using fresh herbs, make sure they aren’t wilted before adding them to the filling.
Step 1: Make the Filling
- Heat up 3/4 cup (180 mL) of water in a saucepan.
- Add the sugar and salt to the pan along with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of butter.
- Cook the mixture until it reaches 245 degrees Fahrenheit (118 C).
- Remove the pan from heat and add in the egg yolks one at a time while whisking constantly.
- Once the eggs are incorporated into the liquid, return the pan to medium-high heat and cook the mixture for another 5 minutes stirring continuously.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and remove the pan from heat.
Step 2: Assemble the Pastila Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 C)
- Cut each sheet of phyllo dough into 4 pieces.
- Take one piece of phyllo dough and place it onto a clean surface. Cover half of the square with nut filling, leaving an inch border around the edge free of filling. Fold the uncovered portion of the dough upwards over the filling. Starting at the bottom left corner, fold the top right corner down towards the center line. Continue folding the other two corners downwards toward the middle of the page. Repeat this step until all four sides have been folded inwardly creating a triangle shape.
- Repeat these steps for every remaining piece of phyllo dough. Once you’ve finished assembling the last piece, brush it lightly with any leftover melted butter.
- Place the assembled triangles on baking paper lined cookie tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
What Are Some Tips For Making A Perfect Pastila Recipe?
Making a good pastila recipe takes time and patience.
If you want to make the best one possible, here are some tips that will help you out.
- Use fresh ingredients – Pastillas are traditionally made using only fresh ingredients. You don’t need to use any preservatives. When choosing your ingredients, avoid anything that has been sitting around too long. That includes meats, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.
- Make sure your oven is clean – A dirty oven will affect how well the pastry cooks up. Make sure you take care of this before starting your baking process. Clean it thoroughly if needed.
- Bake in small batches – To ensure the best results from your pastilla recipe, bake it in smaller portions than usual. If you have an electric stovetop, keep the temperature low so as not to burn them. If you cook it on top of the stove, place it in a bowl to catch any spills. Don’t worry about being fancy — just stick to what works!
- Don’t skip the brushing step – After each layer of pastry goes into the oven, brush the surface with melted butter. This helps to seal the layers together and ensures they won’t get soggy during storage.
- Keep track of the amount of filling used – It’s easy to forget exactly how much filling went into the pastillas. Write down how many pieces you put in each pan so that you can easily calculate how much filling is left after baking.
- Warm the pans in the oven – Even though you may already know that the pastillas should go back into the oven once you remove them from the heat, doing so is still important. Warming them slightly helps the pastry become more pliable and prevents cracking. Simply place the pans in the oven while its preheating.
- Let cool completely before storing – Once the pastillas have cooled off completely, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Store them in an airtight container until ready to serve.
How Do You Store A Pastila Recipe?
You don’t have to keep your pastila recipe in an airtight container if it doesn’t contain any perishable ingredients.
It will still taste delicious as long as the humidity level stays low (around 50 percent).
But if you want to save this recipe for later use, you need to properly dry it out before storing it.
Drying is best done using a dehydrator instead of ovens or conventional heat sources.
You can also try freezing the dried pastillas for a few weeks before they’ve fully dried.
Then place them in a ziploc bag and transfer into an airtight container until ready to use.
What Are Some Ways To Serve A Pastila Recipe?
You can make this candy in small batches and keep it in the fridge until you need it.
It will last up to two weeks if stored properly.
- Make enough pastillas so that there’s one leftover per person (or two leftovers total)
- Store them in a cool dry place where they won’t get too warm (a pantry works great)
- To break apart a large batch into smaller pieces, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and then put the wrapped pieces back together when needed
- If you have children who love dipping things in chocolate, try making these candies with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has more flavor than milk chocolate does.
- Stand Mixer
- 6 large apples
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Set the oven to 180 °F/82 °C.
- Peel the parchment paper away slowly once the pastila has totally cooled. Use a spatula to carefully scrape the pastry off the paper if it sticks to it.
- Cut each layer in half if using quarter-sheet pans to create a total of 4 rectangles.
- Pastilla is spread out on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
- Use an offset spatula to evenly spread out a few teaspoons of the saved batter. Put another pastilla layer on. For the remaining layers, repeat.
- Any leftover batter should be brushed onto the layered pastilla’s top and sides.
- Bake for one and a half hours at 180 °F/82 °C.
- Complete cooling.
- Slice the pastila into 1″ wide slices using a moistened knife and a sawing motion.
- Slices of pastila should be gently rolled in powdered sugar. With a cup of tea, serve.
- Keep for a few days in an airtight jar.