Having lived the first few years of my life in Chile, there are a couple of memories that come to mind. One of the most prominent being all the snowy (or rainy) winter evenings spent eating sopaipillas as a family. It was our favorite thing as kids, whenever the weather was gloomy or the streets were covered in snow, because we knew that meant a trip to “Los Saldes”, our favorite bakery. As soon as we heard our dad’s car pull up to the driveway we would rush to the door and jump up and down in anticipation. He would walk into the house, greet us with a bear hug, put his work bag on the counter, and off to “Los Saldes” we went.
The bakery was always packed: as if getting sopaipillas on a cold winter day was a nation-wide family tradition – which it was in a way. Sopaipillas, a fried squash pastry dusted with powdered sugar, is a common Chilean comfort food during the winter. After school or work chileans everywhere rush home or to a bakery to eat the famous winter treat. When we lived in Chile, “Los Saldes” was our tradition, but once we moved to Perú and couldn’t find our country’s treat in any of the bakeries, a new tradition was born where I would make sopaipillas for our family at home. And let me tell you, the winter pick-me-up is a pretty simple recipe to make.
500 g squash
500 g wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
- Wash the squash thoroughly and remove the seeds.
- Chop the squash into big chunks and place it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through
- Remove the squash from the oven and blend it until you obtain a puree
- Place the puree in a bowl and set aside to cool
- In another bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and mix to combine
- Incorporate the squash puree and the melted butter into the flour mixture
- With your hands, unify all the ingredients until a smooth dough forms
- Form a ball and place in a covered bowl to rise
- Let the dough rest for 20 minutes
- Once the dough has risen, knead it on a clean and floured surface
- Stretch the dough with a rolling pin until it is about half a centimeter thick
- With a glass or a circular mold, cut out circular shapes
- Add vegetable oil to a pan and put it on medium heat
- Fry the sopaipillas until golden or about two minutes per side
- Place the fried sopaipillas on a sheet of paper to absorb excess oil
- Dust the sopaipillas with powered sugar and enjoy!