Christmas Pristiño

This is a traditional Ecuadorian recipe for Christmas time: # pristiños!


Spiced water:

  • 1 cup of water

  • 3 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 cloves

  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds

Mass of the Pristiños:

  • 3 cups of flour 3 cups = 15 ounces = 425 grams

  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons butter or 3 ounces butter at room temperature

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 1-2 tablespoons of brandy you can also use rum, or if you don't want to use alcohol you can use 1 teaspoon of anise essence or rum extract

  • ½ cup warm water + additional spices as needed.

  • 2 cups of oil for frying

To serve:

Panela honey

Sweet figs


 To make the spiced water: Combine 1 cup of water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and anise seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the water to remove the spices, the water should be warm when added to the batter.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the food processor and mix well. Add the ground spices (see Notes below) for an extra hint of spice in the dough.

If you don't have a food processor, put the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well using your hands.

Add the butter and eggs. Mix well.

Add the lemon juice, schnapps, and ½ cup of the spiced water. Mix in food processor until dough begins to form balls of dough. Or by hand until all the ingredients are well integrated.

If the dough is dry add more spiced water, one tablespoon at a time, until smooth. The consistency of the dough should be slightly sticky.

Remove the dough from the food processor, work it gently into a ball.

Cut the dough in two, and form a disk with the half, then use a rolling pin to roll it out on a floured surface until you have a thin layer of dough.

Use a knife to cut the dough into strips 2cm to 3cm wide and 15cm to 25cm long. Make small cuts on one side of each strip, and then form the strip into a circle with the fringes facing outward in the shape of a crown or thread. Press the edges together to seal the crown.

Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan. When the oil is very hot, add the pristiños, carefully. Fry them on both sides until golden brown. Put them on a plate with paper towels to drain off excess oil.

Serve immediately with panela honey or sweet figs with honey. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired.

Instructions for baking the pristiños (they are crispier and less soft):

Brush the pristiños with beaten egg and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. When you take them out of the oven, you can brush them with melted butter (to soften them a bit).

Serve with panela honey and cinnamon.

Recipe of:

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