Peruvian picarones recipe

Have you ever tried Peruvian picarones? Although at first they may look like donuts or fritters, they are not.

Last update: September 16, 2021

Peruvian picarones They are fritters that differ from the traditional ones. These have a broader spectrum of ingredients. In fact, they include pumpkin, a vegetable with a sweet touch that can enhance organoleptic characteristics.

We are going to teach you how to prepare the best Peruvian picarones. Despite their excellent taste, they should be consumed in moderation. Their energy value is high and they go through a frying process that is not the healthiest cooking method. However, if they appear occasionally in the diet, they do not pose any risk.

Peruvian picarones ingredients

To make Peruvian picarones you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 kilo of orange sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1/4 kilo of macre squash, peeled and chopped.
  • 3/4 tablespoon of dry active yeast.
  • 1/2 kilo of unprepared flour.
  • 4 cups of chancaca honey.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 teaspoons of anise.
  • 1 spoon of sugar.

For honey, the following will be necessary:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • 2 star anise.
  • 1 pineapple peel.
  • 1 whole orange.
  • 6 cloves.
Cloves provide a distinctive aroma in Peruvian picarones.

Step by step of the recipe

You have to start by placing the sweet potato, squash and anise in a pot. Water is introduced until the ingredients are completely covered and cooked over medium heat.

It is important to ensure that the sweet potato and squash are smooth in texture. Once this is achieved, they are drained and the cooking liquid is reserved. Everything is introduced, except the water, in a mincer and it is processed until obtaining a puree.

At this point it will be necessary to cool the cooking water until it is warm. In a cup of it, add the sugar along with the yeast, stirring everything until both ingredients dissolve. The mixture is left to rest for about 10 minutes to allow it to ferment and form a sponge.

The sponge will be added to the puree that we have prepared before. Immediately afterwards, the flour is included and it is begun to knead with the hands.

It is also advisable to incorporate half a cup of the cooking water to achieve a smoother texture. You will have to work it with your hands until it is no longer sticky. When it is smooth and soft, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for 2 hours to double its volume.

From this moment on, it only remains to form the fritters and fry them. A generous amount of oil is heated in a frying pan and small dough donuts are formed that will later be fried. After two minutes it will be necessary to turn them over so that they brown on both sides.

Once they are cooked, the picarones are placed on the plates and covered with chancaca honey. To prepare this seasoning, it will be necessary to chop the chancaca and place it in a pot with the cinnamon, the cloves, the fig leaf, the star anise, the pineapple peel and the orange peel.

Add water generously and cook over medium heat until the liquid turns into a syrup. At this point it is strained and the solids are discarded, allowing the result to temper.

Nutritional information of Peruvian picarones

Peruvian picarones usually provide around 112 calories per unit, which represents a significant energy value. For this reason, they should not be part of the usual diet, as they could negatively alter the caloric balance. It must be taken into account that there is evidence that being overweight is related to a worse state of health.

Most of this energy comes from carbohydrates. It is not a recipe suitable for coeliacs, since it has wheat flour in its composition. Each unit of picarones has 18 grams of carbohydrates, of which 7 correspond to sugar.

It is essential to limit the presence of simple sugar in the diet. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Bioscience, the regular intake of this ingredient could cause several damages on the state of health in the medium term.

On the other hand, it is a preparation that barely able to provide protein. It only has 2 grams for each unit. It does have fats; most of them of the unsaturated type, although it is possible that the fatty acids undergo a transformation to trans type due to the frying process.

This class of compounds can increase the levels of inflammation in the body, as stated by an investigation published in the journal Progress in Lipid Research. It is important to modulate inflammatory levels to avoid the development of chronic and complex pathologies.

Tips to achieve the best picarones

Getting perfect picarones in terms of texture and fluffiness is not always easy. The kneading process is decisive. You have to exert a lot of force on the dough to get the ingredients to integrate well.

The most correct thing is that the kneading process lasts between 10 and 20 minutes. It is possible to use a kitchen robot to facilitate this step, although the result will not be the same. Whenever the dough is worked with the hands, a superior elasticity is achieved.

On the other hand, you should not be in a hurry during the process of resting the dough. It is important that it grows to double or triple in size. Yeasts have to ferment properly, which takes time.

Also, remember that chancaca is not an indispensable complement. You can make a syrup only with sugar. The result will not be as dense, but it will still be very tasty. It is also possible to complete the recipe with jams or some other type of sweet cream, such as hazelnut.

The syrup that accompanies the Peruvian picarones can be prepared with some variations.

Prepare Peruvian picarones

Preparing Peruvian picarones is not difficult. The key is to follow the recipe that we have told you the verbatim. Keep in mind that in baking, any deviation from the established pattern can radically change the final result.

Do not forget that, once cooked, they can last a few days as long as they are kept covered and at room temperature. It is best to keep them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Anyway, do not pour the honey on top until the moment of consumption.

Finally, keep in mind that this recipe should not be part of the usual diet. It has added sugars and trans fats inside. Nothing will happen to consume it in a timely manner.