Picarones are Peruvian dessert delight – light, fluffy donuts made with the addition of
mashed pumpkin or sweet potato (or orange kumara to us Kiwis), doused in a citrus
syrup (which Nadia has spiced up with some cinnamon and star anise) and served with
chocolate ice cream. Yum!
QUINOA PICARONES (PUMPKIN QUINOA DONUTS) WITH SPICED CITRUS SYRUP AND
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM – RECIPE BY NADIA LIM
Makes: about 40 small donuts
Ready in: 60 – 90 minutes
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons caster sugar
½ cup warm water
2 eggs, lightly whisked
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup well-mashed roast pumpkin
¾ cup well-mashed roast orange kumara
1 cup cooked quinoa (Nadia uses Ceres Organics)
3-4 cups self-raising flour
Canola oil (for frying)
½ cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
SPICED CITRUS SYRUP
3 cups orange juice
3/4 cup lime or lemon juice
3/4 cup golden syrup
½ cup brandy
12 whole star anise
6 cinnamon sticks
Zest of 3 limes
Zest of 3 oranges
Dark chocolate ice cream
In a large mixing bowl, gently mix together yeast, sugar and warm water. Set aside in
a warm place for about 10 minutes, or until frothy.
Add eggs, salt, mashed pumpkin and kumara, and cooked quinoa. Mix until
Gradually add the flour (beginning with 3 cups), mixing until a smooth, sticky dough
is formed. If the dough is very liquid, add a little more flour. Knead dough on a
floured surface for 5-10 minutes (it does not matter if the dough is shaggy/sticky in
texture and appearance), then cover and set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours
or until doubled in size.
To make the spiced citrus syrup, place all ingredients in a pot and simmer over a
medium heat until syrupy (time will depend completely on heat and size of the pot),
swirling the pot regularly. Syrup will thicken further upon standing.
Once the dough is ready, heat oil in a medium pot or deep fryer to 175°C (see Nadia’s tip below).
With wet fingers, grab small balls of dough (about the size of a walnut) and stretch
them slightly so that they are about 1 cm thick. It does not matter if the shape is
irregular. Carefully place in the hot oil, cook briefly until golden, then flip to continue
cooking on the other side until golden and cooked through. Test a few by breaking in
half to ensure the dough is cooked all the way through, and adjust cooking time as
necessary. Drain on paper towels.
On a plate, combine sugar and cinnamon, then roll your donuts in the mixture.
Serve warm, drizzled with spiced citrus syrup, with a scoop of chocolate ice cream.
Tip: If you don’t have a thermometer to test the temperature of the oil, you can test
it is the right temperature for deep frying by adding a small piece of dough to the oil,
and if it floats and starts bubbling, and browns in 50-60 seconds, the oil is at the right