Pristinos (Pumpkin Fritters)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
oil or lard for deep frying
1 tsp baking powder
1/4lb butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 cup cooked, mashed West Indian pumpkin (calabaza)

Cinnamon Syrup
2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
a 1" piece cinnamon stick

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Add the cheese. Work the butter into the mixture with your fingers then the pumpkin with a fork. The pumpkin should supply enough moisture to make a soft but not sticky dough. Turn the dough onto a floured board and roll out to a 1/2" thickness. Cut it into strips 1" wide and 6" long. Form each strip into a ring, pinching the ends lightly together. Deep fry in hot oil or lard (350F to 365F) until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and serve with cinnamon syrup.

Cinnamon syrup: in a saucepan combine the sugar with 1 cup water and the cinnamon stick. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar and simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

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