Tag Archives: Ecuadorian food

Christmas Pristiños

Chef David Reyes suggests we liven up Christmas with Pristiños, a traditional Ecuadorian yuletide dessert topped with a sweet brown sugar syrup.


  • 1 lb. (500 grams) flour
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) butter or margarine
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Brown sugar syrup (see recipe at end of article)


  • Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Sift these ingredients into a large mixing bowl twice.
  • Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the butter and eggs to the middle. Mix everything in well, using clean, dry hands. Set aside.
  • In a separate saucepan, add the water, cinnamon and anise seeds and boil for about 10 minutes. Let the water mixture cool.
  • Once the mixture has cooled, add it to the flour and egg mixture, in a slow stream, mixing all the while. Make sure all of the ingredients get completely mixed, until a soft dough is formed. Set aside and let rise for about 10 minutes.
  • Next, roll the dough on a lightly floured board to about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into strips that are about 6 inches (15 cm) long by 2 inches (4 cm) wide.
  • Cut small, ½ inch notches on one side of the strips. Bring the two ends of the strip together to form a circle, notched sides facing out. Pinch ends together and drop in the hot oil. Fry until a deep golden brown. Remove pristiños from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  • Instead of frying you can also brush them with egg wash and bake at 190 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  • Serve with brown sugar syrup.

Preparation: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8