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The summer season is dotted with days at the beach and melting popsicles, grilled burgers with plumes of smoke dusted with charcoal, and sticky afternoons clogged with humidity. But what is perhaps more synonymous with summer in the United States is the flowering of state fairs scattered across the country, where fried butter is thrown on sticks and golden corn dogs stamped with ‘a mustard curl are an Americana paradigm.
But this year’s summer will be different. Fairs in many states have already been canceled due to COVID-19, which means you may not be able to get your fix of the best part of state fairs: the food.
Fortunately, you can still replicate some of those staples this season, armed with the cookbook by former Walt Disney Company pastry chef George Geary.Fair food. “Here, he walks fair-goers through some of the more classic snacks, like bacon-wrapped tater tots, barbecued turkey thighs, and frozen cheesecake on a stick. Of course, the smell of food. fried and smoke billowing from the stalls won’t set the mood, but once you pull that first fried Twinkie out of the fryer, all will be forgiven.
Below, Chef George shares a funnel cake recipe, the epitome of fair trade food. Its version requires a lot of butter, sugar and eggs (be careful: it is not for the faint of heart), as well as a large pot filled with canola oil. You will pour the dough into a pastry bag, then pour curly logs into the hot oil, turning each piece every 30 seconds until puffed and golden. You can eat ahead and eat those natures – they are so good – or stack the cakes in a big mountain, topped with a splash of whipped cream and sweet berries. This is, after all, what a slice of Americana looks like.
Makes: 6 to 10 funnel cakes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup of water, fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1-1 / 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- Canola oil
- Confectionery sugar
- Combine butter, water, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and quickly incorporate the flour. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes to lightly cook the flour and rid the mixture of a floury, starchy taste.
- Remove the pan from the heat and place the dough in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until most of the steam has dissipated, then add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until each is incorporated and a dough is formed. .
- Pour 3 inches of oil into a pot and heat to 350F.
- Meanwhile, place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle no larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.
- Holding the pastry bag over the hot oil, push the dough into the hot oil in a zigzag or spiral fashion. Do not fry more than one large or two funnel cupcakes at a time.
- Fry cakes until puffed and golden (they will triple in size), 3 to 5 minutes, turning every 30 seconds or so.
- Drain the cakes on a wire rack and let cool slightly, then sprinkle with icing sugar and Berry Topping (recipe follows).
Makes: 2 cups
- 1 liter of fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries) 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- In a bowl, combine the berries, sugar and salt. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
Header image courtesy of “Fair Foods”.
Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is resolutely pro-chocolate.