Picarones will get us addicted to their taste! Some countries like Chile and Bolivia claim to have the best recipes for Picarones, but when it comes down to Peru we know the best flavours are created with a Peruvian palate! The Picarones are a version of the buñuelo, but enriched with local flavours, some people mix the butternut squash with yuca and sweet potato to give it an extra tasty punch!
What you’ll need:
- 3 cinnamon sticks (divided)
- 2 teaspoons whole anise seed
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves (divided)
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 1 pound pumpkin uncooked
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/4 cup Pisco (or other brandy)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 orange
- 2 limes
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- vegetable oil
How to cook them:
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons anise seed, and 1 teaspoon cloves to the water.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Cut the fresh pumpkin in large chunks as well. Add the sweet potatoes and fresh pumpkin to the boiling water and cook until soft. You will need to remove the pumpkin first, as it will cook faster. Strain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and let cool.
- When the pumpkin and potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them or run them through a food mill. Let them cool off. You will need 3/4 cup sweet potato purée and 3/4 cup pumpkin purée.
- In a bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in the 1/2 cup of the slightly warm (but not hot) reserved cooking water. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, salt, the sweet potato and pumpkin purée, and the Pisco and mix with the dough until well mixed.
- Add the flour gradually, and mix with the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. The dough should be stretchy and smooth, but still sticky. If it is very liquid, you can add up to 1/2 cup more flour.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled its size, or about 2 hours.
- Juice the orange and limes and reserve juice. Place the molasses, sugar, orange rind, lime rinds, orange juice, lime juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon cloves, and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring.
- Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly. The consistency should be similar to maple syrup, and it will thicken more as it cools. Strain to remove the orange and lime rind and spices.
- When the dough has risen, heat the oil in a pot.
- Wet your fingers in the salted water. Form the doughnuts then tossing the dough quickly into the oil. Cook briefly, 20 seconds or so, and then flip the doughnuts using the handle of a long wooden spoon.
- Cook the doughnuts in the oil until they are golden brown (about 30 seconds longer), then place them in a paper towel to dry.
Now serve immediately drizzled with the warm syrup and enjoy!