Never heard of pastila before. I HOPE I remember having bookmarked the article once apple harvest season arrives. This link sounds wrong, but does take you to the correct Gastro Obscura page.
Pastilla, I know the Marocaine version, which is a savoury dish with layers of brick . Doesn’t look like the Russian dessert at all.
Different spelling, and the article says it’s from the Russian word for bed.
Interesting im going to try this.
Missed this the first time around. Truly fascinating. Thanks for posting it!