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pear and ginger fritters with arequipe

December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

While admittedly, when I made this dish is was not in celebration of Hanukkah, I immediately thought it would make a great addition to any Hannukah food line-up.  The dish was a huge hit, but then again how could a grown-up version of fried dough NOT be a crowd favorite?

You may be wondering about what arequipe is and although I rue the day I was introduced to the stuff, I am so glad that arequipe and I are now close friends (sadly, my waistline disagrees).

Arequipe is the Colombian cousin of dulce de leche.  While I don’t know exactly what makes the two different, I love arequipe which isn’t overly sweet and is impossibly thick and lovely.   It’s also the perfect base to hold each of these fritters to the inside of a bowl and a nice little surprise for people as they were eating them.   Unfortunately, my arequipe supply comes from a recent trip to Bogota and I haven’t seen it in our local grocery stores.  If you can’t find arequipe in your area, dulce de leche or a thick caramel is a fine substitute.


pear and ginger fritters with arequipe
adapted (and halved) from fine cooking
makes 7-8  big fritters


  • 1 small firm-ripe pears (preferably Bartlett), peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1 Tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cups plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups canola oil


  1. In a small bowl, combine the pears, ginger, lemon zest, 1 tsp of sugar, and 1/8 tsp of the cinnamon. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly frothy. 
  4. Whisk in the flour just until combined—it shouldn’t be completely smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites, and then fold in the pear mixture. 
  5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon.
  6. Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with a candy thermometer clipped to the side.
  7. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°F. Using a serving spoon for large fritters or a small ice cream scoop for small ones, carefully drop a ball of batter into the hot oil.
  8. Add 4 or 5 more to the oil, but don’t crowd the pan. Fry until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. 
  9. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, turn the fritters over and continue frying until golden-brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
  10. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and drain briefly.
  11. Toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat and transfer to a platter.
  12. Continue cooking the rest of the fritters in the same manner.
  13. Plate each fritter on top of a hearty heap of arequipe and serve immediately.  For serious ooohs and ahhhs, include a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
One Comment leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 2:36 am

    Oh boy! What a bad but oh so good recipe! I can feel the extra weight climbing on already!
    🙂 Mandy

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