In many Chilean families, there is division as to which fried pumpkin treats they prefer: Calzones Rotos or Picarones. These treats, plus the savory Sopaipillas, are traditionally enjoyed on rainy days during winter.
They are different ways to make Picarones. Some recipes include egg whites beaten and added to the dough to make them more fluffy. Other versions use yeast, but I prefer this one with baking powder for a quick reward. Many recipes do not add sugar; I add a touch; I like them just with a hint of sweetness.
As you can see, there is the freedom to explore and adapt the recipe to taste. Note that the dough is very sticky, do not add more flour, or the Picarones will be heavy and hard, follow my advice to shape them.
Traditionally they are served in a Chancaca sauce, but I did not have it here in the US. Chancaca is a hard molasses sugar similar to Panela. The sauce is dark in color and with orange and cinnamon flavors. Most people served them warm as a dessert or in the middle of the afternoon as a treat with coffee or tea. Of course, any leftovers are fair game for breakfast the next day.Print
A quick fried treat with a subtle pumpkin flavor.
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 2/3 to 1 cup milk
- oil for frying, at least 2 cm in a pot with high walls
- Place the oil in a pot with high walls and thick. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 180C or 350F. Cover a plate with paper towels.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir and add the squash. Mix with a wooden spoon or fork.
- Start adding the milk, keep stirring vigorously until the dough is mixed. It will be super sticky. This is normal, do not try to knead the dough.
- Place a bowl of water next to the bowl with the dough. Using a spoon, scoop out a portion of the dough around 1/4 cup or the size of a golf ball. Wet your fingers in water, remove the dough from the spoon and shape it into a Picaron with a hole in the middle.
- Immediately place carefully in the oil. Repeat. I cook 4-5 at a time.
- Cook the Picarones until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Scoop out onto a plate covered with absorbent paper.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with powdered sugar or in warm syrup sauce or with maple syrup.