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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Recipes for All Saints Day & Day of the Dead - Buñuelos de viento (Nun's Farts)

Buñuelos de viento (Nun's Farts)

Buñuelos de viento, literally 'wind fritters', are also also euphemized as nun's puffs and, seemingly got the designation because they are light as air. In this season full of chestnuts and pumpkins you mustn't miss this recipe (a bit more involved, but worth it), a classic dessert for the celebration of All Saints Day, on November 1.


For the vanilla cream filling:
4 yolks
100 g. sugar
50 g. cornstarch (fine corn flour)
1/2 liter of whole milk
50 g. of butter
1 vanilla bean or a teaspoon of vanilla essence
the zest of a lemon
1 cinnamon stick

For the fritters:
50g butter
3 eggs
1 glass of about 300 ml of water
150 ml whole milk
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (5 g)
300 g of flour
10 g of baking powder 
The zest of half an orange
1/2 l of mild oil for frying

To decorate the fritters: 
Sugar and cinnamon powder (to taste)

The first thing is to prepare the ingredients with which we are going to flavor the milk. Wash the lemon and grate the zest finely. Open the vanilla pod and remove the seeds and reserve to add later to the milk. Measure a glass of milk and reserve it. Heat the rest of the milk in a saucepan over medium heat almost to the boiling point. Lower the temperature and remove from the heat, add the vanilla seeds, the lemon zest and the cinnamon stick split in half. Allow everything to rest, allowing the milk to be infused with the flavours for 10 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch in a glass of warm milk until it has no lumps, if necessary in a blender. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the yolks in a bowl with the sugar until frothy. Add the glass of milk with the dissolved cornstarch. Beat again until there are no lumps. Reserve. Strain the infused milk and add it back to the saucepan, heat to medium and add the cream from the previous step, adding it little by little and mixing continuously until it thickens. Do not allow to boil. It is very important not to stop stirring as it can burn or stick to the pan. The secret, as in almost all recipes, is to be patient. Add the butter to give it a shiny finish. Allow to cool completely and start with the dough for the fritters.

Start by preparing the ingredients, wash the orange and grate the zest from half of it and reserve. Sift the flour, add a teaspoon of baking powder, mix well and reserve. Place a pan with the glass of water, the whole milk, the diced butter, the orange zest, the sugar and the salt over medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil, remove. Mix well with a whisk. 

Add the sifted flour with the baking powder in one go and return to the heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until you get a homogeneous dough, a smooth cream without lumps. If you see a lump of flour, don't worry, it will gradually disappear. In the end it will be like a compact ball, detached from the walls of the pan until it seems that it is completely dry. Turn off the heat and remove the pan. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding the eggs.

Add the eggs one by one, stirring each one in fully before adding the next.

Frying and final presentation
Heat a pan with plenty of oil (sunflower or mild olive) over medium heat. Form the fritter balls with the help of two spoons. The difficulty of this dessert is in the temperature of the oil. If it is not hot enough, the dough falls to the bottom and it must be ensured that it remains afloat. But if it is too hot, a dry crust forms that prevents it from puffing up. Also, if the oil is very hot, they will brown very quickly and will remain raw inside. It requires trial and error.

Fry in batches as they will double in size. When they're golden, remove the fritters to an absorbent paper. Cool slightly, then bathe with sugar and cinnamon. They would be perfect as they are, but to finish, fill them with the pastry cream or your favorite filling.

Buñuelos de viento rellenos

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