Peruvian Picarones (Pumpkin Fritters)

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins

In 1528, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered Peru and was intrigued by the riches of the Inca Empire. The Spanish helped to introduce chicken, pork, and lamb to the Incas. As European disease struck the Incas and a shortage of labor arose, slaves from Africa were brought over to work on the new plantations. Africans contributed such foods as picarones (anise-sweetened, deep-fried pastries made from a pumpkin dough), to the Peruvian cuisine, as did Polynesians from the Pacific Islands, the Chinese, and the Japanese. From

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Add the sugar, egg, pumpkin, and salt; combine thoroughly.
  3. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough becomes too stiff to beat with a wooden spoon.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead in enough of the remaining flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers.
  5. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes).
  6. Shape it into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  7. Punch down the dough and tear off pieces, shaping into doughnut-like rings, about 3 inches in diameter.
  8. Heat about 1-inch of oil in a deep skillet and fry the fritters for about 5 minutes, turning them once, until crisp and golden brown.
  9. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with warm maple syrup.
  10. Makes 12 servings.