Chilean Sopaipillas Pasadas

My family recently adventured to Chile for a short vacation where they enjoyed eating delicious food at every opportunity. Unfortunately, I was unable to join them as I had just recently moved and everything was just a little chaotic. But, I was able to join in the fun of creating a Chilean dinner for Christmas this year!

My mom and sister prepared the bulk of the meal- since they have actually experienced the food and I had not, they felt I was less qualified to prepare the main dishes. So, I got pushed to dessert, which is fine by me! I’d choose dessert any day!

That being said, I actually had a difficult time finding a Chilean dessert recipe that sounded remotely interesting or good. There were also many variations of recipes with the same name which made it hard to choose. I finally narrowed it down and combined recipes from and for Sopaipillas, a fried dough made from squash and served with a dark syrup called Chanaca. I added powdered sugar on top for presentation.

I couldn’t help but think of breakfast food when I took my first bite… I think it was the syrup and slightly sweet and thin pastry that reminded me of a cross between a donut and a crepe and a pancake. Nevertheless, it was quite tasty- even the overstuffed family, recently returned from Chile, approved.

This recipe makes about 8 small servings. They are quite rich, so I prepared them pretty small, but I’ve seen pictures of them larger. Also, I chose to cut the dough in squares with a pizza wheel instead of cutting circles (the traditional way) because it is recommended to not patch or re-roll the dough and I didn’t want to be wasteful!

For the Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large lemon or orange peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean

For the Dough:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cups canola oil, for frying

To Make the Syrup:

  1. Combine the sugars, water, peel, cinnomon stick, and vanilla bean in a small heavy bottom sauce pan.
  2. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick syrup. This will take approximately 20-40 minutes.

To Make the Dough:

  1. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small cubes, removing the seeds.
  2. Steam the squash in a steamer basket over boiling water until soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the oil into a medium pot so it is at least 3 inches deep.
  4. Heat the oil over high heat until hot while you prepare the dough, approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Puree the squash in a food processor until very smooth.
  6. Measure 1 cup of the squash puree for the recipe and if you have leftovers, eat them… yum!
  7. Mix the butter into the warm squash puree until it is melted and well combined, set aside.
  8. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  9. Pour the squash mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it comes together.
  10. Use your hands to form a dough ball.
  11. Flatten the dough into a square and roll it out onto a floured work surface to 1/2 inch thick.
  12. Cut the dough into squares with a pizza cutter.
  13. Prick each piece in the center with a fork.
  14. Once the oil is hot, drop 6-10 pieces in at a time, depending on the size of your pastry. You want there to be enough room for each pastry to rise to the surface without being blocked by others.
  15. Fry for 2-5 minutes, flipping half way through, or until pastries are lightly browned.
  16. Remove with a slotted spatula to papertowels.
  17. Arrange the pastries on a plate and drizzle with the syrup.
  18. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve right away.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

One Response to “Chilean Sopaipillas Pasadas”

  1. Momma Says:

    I loved these - surprised me that a squash pastry would be so good; and at good use for the previously rejected powdered sugar.

Leave a Reply