We unearthed the secret to making the country-famous pastry—heavenly soft buns with irresistible custard filling only found in the “Island Borne of Fire.”

If there’s one thing you cannot leave Camiguin without, it’s pastel, a local bun filled with melt-in-your-mouth yema (custard) filling, and there’s only one name that’s synonymous with this treat: Vjandep.

Here’s how they make the treat that no one, not even a machine from the Department of Science and Technology, can replicate.

The ingredients (sorry; the measurements cannot be disclosed)

  • Flour
  • eggs
  • milk
  • sugar
  • butter
  • shortening
  • yeast

Fillings may vary, but here’s the list for the original yema filling:

  • Milk
  • egg
  • butter

The process

Mix all the ingredients by hand in a bowl until they come together into a consistency akin to toy slime. Pastel dough isn’t as hard as regular bread dough so stop working it once you reach that consistency.

This is one part of the process that not even machines can replicate.

Break off pieces big enough to fit the palm of your hand and place a spoonful of yema. Wrap the yema within the dough before placing it into a short cylindrical mold. Set the dough aside and let it rise until it doubles in size.

Pastel always tastes the best when you get them (almost) fresh from the oven.

Once the dough has risen, place the mold in a 180-degree heated oven for 10 minutes. Take them out; let them cool for at least two minutes (hot yema is no joke), and chow down!

The basics
Buy pastel for Php165 (USD3.30) a dozen. Vjandep is at 57 Plaridel Street, Mambajao, Camiguin—very close to the airport.

Get there
SkyJet Airlines flies daily to Camiguin except on Wednesday and Thursdays.

Experience all-in hassle-free tours of Camiguin by booking #DashHolidays.
Tel: +63917 840 6853, +639917 627 6179
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Photos: Daniel Soriano