PUMPKIN PIE CHURROS

I’ve added autumn flavors to these traditional churros. Try your own flavorings, too. You can add a variety of extract flavorings to the batter, dip them in melted chocolate or drizzle with jam. Any way you make them they are a treat, so have fun and make sure you share!

The frying part is definitely NOT for the kids to do, but have them help roll them in the sugar coating. It is simple and fun to do.

Yield: About 1 dozen 4-inch churros

INGREDIENTS FOR CHURRO BATTER

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups vegetable oil

INGREDIENTS FOR COATING

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

NECESSARY TOOLS

Pastry bag fitted with a large star-shaped tip. Note: Disposable pastry bags are available at any craft or kitchen store and they are great tools to have around the kitchen. If you do not have a star tip, a round tip will work as well.

Paper towels for draining the cooked churros of excess oil.

TO PREPARE

Combine all the ingredients for the coating and set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan add the water, brown sugar, salt and butter, and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour and pumpkin pie spice. Stirring in the flour will take some muscle. Mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla together; add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until well blended and all the egg mixture is completely incorporated.

Fill the pastry bag, fitted with tip, with the churro dough.

Heat the one and a half cups of vegetable oil in a frying pan with high sides or a wide saucepan to 375°. If you don’t have a thermometer, the “medium high” setting on your stove should hold the oil at around 375°. Test your oil by dropping in a small amount of dough; it should bubble up right away. If it does not, the oil is not yet hot enough and a soggy churro is no bueno! Once the oil has reached the correct temperature, squeeze a four-inch-long tube of the dough from the piping bag into the hot oil, using scissors to cut off the end of the dough tube from the piping bag. Be careful of the hot oil!

You should be able to fit four or five churros at a time in the pan. Cook each churro about one minute and then turn it over with a slotted spoon. Cook an additional minute or two until it turns a nice golden brown color. Remove the churros with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-covered plate to absorb excess oil.

While still warm, roll each churro in the coating until well coated. Serve warm.

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