Once I do the list for Master 3’s birthday festivities, I know we are on the home straight to Christmas. And so the hostess gifts are needed, the little things for kinder teachers, playgroup helpers and that kind of thing. Since I’ve had my thermomix I have been turning into a regular Martha Stewart and making a lot of food gifts myself. So this year I’ve made some Pastilla.
To be honest, I’d never heard of Pastilla until I saw it in “In The Mix”. It looked pretty easy and not too time consuming, and you can make it early and it just stores in the fridge. The ingredients aren’t all that expensive, but once you wrap it up ready to give, it looks quite impressive. What’s not to love about that??
I googled traditional pastilla recipes and frankly I feel like a bit of a cheat. There’s hardly any mess involved with the thermomix version – they way I’ve done it you barely get your hands dirty, but your thermobaby will need a jolly good clean after you’ve finished it. It is amazingly sticky – really, really, really sticky. So do watch out. And you’ll definitely need a silicon mat or lots of baking paper, and if you do what I did, lots of glad wrap. (or spend ages cleaning your bench tops…)
So – it’s easy. Grab your prunes, whiz them down for 25 seconds and then add the sugar. I used plain raw sugar as I usually do. A little bit of water, and then cook. After the allocated time, you add some lemon juice and honey, and cook again. Then, add the walnuts and cook again. And then you’re done.
The messy part is once you’ve turned out the hot sticky stuff onto the mat. You’ll need to scrape to get what you can out of the thermomix bowl, but even then there will be some left. Make sure you get some water onto it quick smart and get out what you can using the water and turbo trick. For the more stubborn stuff, I half filled the bowl with water and set it to 90 for about 10 minutes, and was able to pour out most of the stuff that was stuck. Just make sure you do it quickly!!
Once it’s cooled a little on the thermomat, use the spatula to break it into quarters, and then each quarter into half. Just rough is fine – I only did it this way as the recipe said you’d get about 8 logs from it.
Have on your bench a large-ish piece of glad wrap – about 30cm long. Put the blob of mixture close to the edge of the glad wrap, and try and get it into a longish log if you can. Now fold over the glad wrap and roll it into a cylinder, twirling or tying the ends of the glad wrap to make sure it keeps the shape. No sticky stuff on your hands and a perfect cylinder! Once you’ve made all your bits, and wrapped them – put them in the fridge. The batch I made yesterday are perfect.
I’m going to unwrap mine and rewrap them in some fresh glad wrap, and then wrap them in cellophane to pretty them up for gifts – as well as a batch for the Christmas Fete at kinder.