This dish takes us on a long journey from Spain to Argentina. All Sephardim are familiar with these rolled thin strips of pastry that are quickly fried and deliciously covered in sugar: they are impossibly tender and will melt in your mouth. Though they are known under many names (fijuelas, fazuelos, ojuelas ), their characteristic shape is always undeniably reminiscent of a megillah, the scroll read during the Jewish holiday of Purim, when hojuelas are traditionally prepared.
These will be tastier and smoother if you prepare the dough the day before frying it.
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup sugar
2 tsp. water
1⁄2 tsp. salt
7 tsp. neutral oil
More neutral oil for frying
For the syrup:
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄4 cup orange blossom water
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup icing sugar
1⁄4 cup sesame seeds
- Combine the flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, water, salt, and 7 tsp. oil in a bowl.
- Mix the ingredients together with a spoon and then with your hands until smooth.
- Wrap the dough in plastic film and cool for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour on your working surface and roll out the dough. It must be thin and not sticky.
- Cut strips roughly 1" wide and 15" long.
- Heat the oil over medium heat.
- Take a strip in your hand. Gently stick the teeth of a fork into one end of the strip and put the fork in the oil to cook this portion while keeping the rest out of the pan. Every two seconds, gently turn the fork to roll up a little more of the strip and fry that bit. Continue until the entire strip of dough has been wrapped around the fork and fried.
- Set aside and continue in the same way for all hojuelas.
- Prepare the syrup: pour the water, orange blossom water, and sugar into a pan. Mix everything over low heat for 5 minutes. The mixture should remain very liquid and transparent.
- Soak the hojuelas in the sugar syrup, being careful not to break them, and put them onto a serving dish.
- Put the sesame seeds and icing sugar in two separate plates. Dip one side of each hojuela into each topping.