This recipe comes from the Food Network. The recipe is a favorite throughout South America. Some regions serve these as dessert, but they can also fried until puffy and served as a side dish, like a bread serving, which the extras would then later be sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar or honey and served as a dessert (depending on regional preferences). The sopapillas we had for dessert recently at a Mexican restaurant included the cinnamon/sugar dusting on cooled sopapillas which were then topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a touch of strawberry sauce drizzled over the whipped cream. It was delicious! Prep time does not include chilling time.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and water, work them in with your hands to make a soft, pliable dough. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough feels too dry. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Put the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour so it will firm up a bit and be easier to roll and cut. (Dough can be prepared 1 day ahead, refrigerated.).
- Unwrap the ball of dough and put on a lightly floured surface, cut in half. With a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a paring knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into triangles as you would a pizza. You should end up with 6 or 8 triangles per circle.
- Heat 2-inches of oil to 375° in a heavy skillet or deep pot over medium-high heat. (Reduce the temperature to 350° if you prefer a less crispy sopapilla.).
- Fry a few of the sopapillas at a time, keeping an eye on maintaining the oil temperature. As the sopapillas puff up and rise to the surface, flip them over with a slotted spoon, skimmer, or chopsticks; about 2 minutes on each side. Carefully remove the sopapillas from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towels or a brown paper bag. Cool slightly.
- Serve hot with cinnamon sugar or honey.
- Serving Option: If desired, let sopapillas cool, then pipe whipped cream in the center of each sopapilla triangle, and use a spoon to drizzle a bit of strawberry sauce over the whipped cream.