Every country has its own version of a sweet fried dough dessert and the Spanish’s version of the treat is called Pestiños. It’s long been associated with most of the major Christian holidays (All Saint’s Day, Christmas, Easter), which might be just a way of suggesting that they can be enjoyed all year round, whatever the occasion.
They’re served with either a drizzle of honey syrup or a coating of cinnamon sugar. They don’t require complicate ingredients or cooking methods, making it an ideal treat to make when you don’t have much time on your hands.
- 400 gr wheat flour
- 250 ml sweet white wine
- 250 ml olive oil
- 1 orange peel or lemon, cut into strips
- 2 capsules star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 150 gr honey
- 35 ml water
- oil either sunflower oil or olive oil, for frying
- Begin by flavoring the oil we will use to make the dough. To do this, place the the olive oil along with the cinnamon stick, the aniseed and the orange peel into a saucepan and heat until it starts to bubble.
- Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the peel starts to brown and then remove from the heat to allow to cool. Discard the cinnamon, aniseed and orange peel pieces.
- In a bowl, add the flour, white wine and the cooled olive oil and knead everything well until it gains an even consistency.
- Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and set it aside to rest for 2 hours.
- Towards the end of the resting time, prepare the frying pan you will cook the pestiños in and heat up plenty of sunflower oil or olive oil for frying.
- Meanwhile, cut out pieces of the dough and roll them out on a clean and lightly floured surface using a rolling pin until very thin (2-3 mm or about 1/10th of an inch)
- Next, using a knife or a pasta cutter, cut 10 x10 cm (4 x 4 inch) squares and brush the center of the dough square with some water using a silicone brush. Fold one of the corners towards the middle and press down to stick it in place. Take a little more water and brush over the folded corner. Take the opposite corner and press it over the fold.
- Once the oil has heated up well, work in batches, placing the pestiños in the hot oil with the overlapping ends facing down. Once the edges have started to turn golden, turn them over and fry until browned all over.
- Transfer the cooked pestiños to a wide dish lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Now it's time to prepare the syrup. Combine the water an honey in a bowl and stir until the honey has dissolved and thinned.
- Serve the pestiños with a generous drizzle of honey syrup and enjoy!