Sopaipillas, a New Mexican specialty, are a treat I make whenever I’m missing home.
My grandmother only made them during Lent, but if I had a craving any other time of year I could stop by almost any neighborhood restaurant for my fix. Although fried, good sopaipillas are not greasy, they are slightly crisp on the outside and yield a pillowy, slightly stretchy dough beneath a pocket of air.
I serve them alongside beans and New Mexican Green Chile for a hearty meal or douse them in honey for a sweet-tooth satisfying treat.
Cook Time: 3 minutes per sopaipilla
Total Time: 1 hour
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup warm water
oil or shortening for frying
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Using the tips of your fingers cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles course meal.
Gradually add in the warm water and mix until it forms dough, if needed add more warm water a teaspoon of warm water until a soft, smooth dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3 minutes and then cover and set aside for about 30 minutes.
Separate the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch-thick circle. Cut into quarters, like a pie.
Fry in hot oil until brown on each side. If oil is the correct heat, the dough should puff up within a few seconds. Place on a paper towel covered plate. . Repeat with each of the other 5 pieces of dough.
Serve warm in place of tortillas alongside a meal or with honey.
*makes about 24 medium sopiapillas