Wow! I just love holidays. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and be with your family and those you love. As you know it’s almost time for Valentine’s day, that special day of the year for showing the ones we love how much we appreciate & care about them.
What do you think of when you think about Valentine’s day? Maybe it’s chocolate, sweet candy, flowers, or greeting cards might come to mind? One of the things I love to do is to cook something special for my family. And this year I am making some sweet homemade donuts! Now these delicious donuts are called picarones. Picarones are from Peru. They are a Peruvian pastry that are made from sweet potatoes and pumpkin! Yum! What makes them a special and delicious treat is that they are made with lots of LOVE! There are something that you can make at home for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.
You can also make them all year long, for no other reason than they are so delicious! Let’s get started making these scrumptious donuts. It’s easier than you think, and if your family is anything like mine, your donuts will disappear before you know it! My kids scarfed them when they got home from school & work. I love surprising them with treats at the end of a long day or on a weekend!
Sure hope you get to celebrate with your family or friends this Valentine’s Day! With Rena Ware we care about bringing people together around the table. And this donut recipe does just that!
From the Zylstra family to yours, we are wishing you and your loved ones a happy and yummy 2019 Valentines Day!!
Much love & happy cooking,
1 lb sweet potatoes, (3-4 depending on size)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons anise seed or fennel seed
1 3/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup pisco or brandy
2-3 cups oil for frying
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
2 vanilla beans
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried chile
How to make:
Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into medium size cubes, and place them in the 4 Litre. Add enough water to cover and cook the potatoes on medium high heat until soft. Pierce with a fork to check for doneness. Drain, but reserve the potato water to use later in the recipe. Process in food processor or mash the sweet potatoes to form a soft puree.
After the potato water cools to room temperature, add one cup of the water to a small bowl. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the active dry yeast. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes in a warm place, until yeast forms a sponge like texture.
In a large bowl, mix together the pureed sweet potatoes and canned pumpkin. Add the yeast mixture and eggs and mix well. Next, add the flour and mix it in with your hands, adding 1/4-1/2 cup of the cooking water as needed, until the dough is stretchy and smooth. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place until it doubles or sometimes triples in size, at least 1 1/2- 2 hours.
When the dough is ready, heat the oil in the 6 Litre and get ready to deep-fry your picarones. For each donut, take about 2 tablespoons of dough and stretch it into a ring, then toss it into the hot oil to cook thoroughly, about 20 seconds. Remove using tongs and place on paper towels to drain.
To make the syrup:
In a small utensil, add the sugar, lime juice, lime rinds, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, salt, chile, and cloves. Add water to cover (about 1 cup), and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and a thick syrup forms (think maple syrup texture). Strain to remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc. Allow to cool and pour into a jar to have ready to enjoy with the Picarones. To save time, you use pre-made maple syrup or caramel sauce instead of the syrup.
Hint: The syrup is best at room temperature, so you can always make it in advance.
Enjoy! These picarones are delicious and you can also add some spice and flavor to any special occasion!