Peruvians swear that this spicy, fried piece of dough originated in their country…though there are other contenders too like the Spanish or the Chileans who claim with similar passion that this dessert is theirs!!! Whatever maybe the origin of this sweet, fried rounds of dough resembling and tasting as good as the good ole American doughnut, the ones that you get in Peru…the Picarones – a pumpkin or sweet potato based doughnut is probably the best in the world…
- White Flour – 3 Cups
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Cornmeal – 1 tbsp
- Boiled pumpkin/sweet potato – 1 cup (puréed)
- Brown Sugar – 2 cups
- Sea salt – 1/2 tsp
- Crushed anise – 1/4 cup
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Orange/lemon peels – 3 (shredded)
- Yeast – to taste
Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. Mix the cornmeal, salt, anise seed and one cup flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix well. Now add the pumpkin/sweet potato purée and 2 cups of flour. Mix together to form a soft dough. Cover with a wet towel and keep it in a warm place for around 2 hours, till it rises.
To prepare the syrup, add the Syrup ingredients in a saucepan and leave to boil over medium heat. Let it simmer until a thick syrup forms. Remove the saucepan from heat.
To prepare doughnuts, heat oil in a pan. Drop tablespoons of the prepared dough into the hot oil and fry until crispy and golden in colour.
Serve hot with hot syrup.
P. S: Picarones they say tastes best when eaten with another Peruvian speciality – the Lucuma IceCream!!!