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Sweet and spicy: More winning recipes from the State Fair

By Deirdre Parker Smith


People are clamoring for more recipes from the State Fair!

OK, two or three folks mentioned the recipes, so here’s a few more from the fair, which ended Oct. 23.

These have quite a bit of sweetness to them — and one has a double spicy, double fatty bite that might send you running for water. Don’t. Spicy food fire is best quenched with milk or beer.

Anyway, if you’re very good, you might get to read about Hawaiian Crack in a future food page. Yes, that was the winning Spam recipe. Really, it’s too early in the morning to discuss that.

The winners today come from the Gold Medal Flour Best Pie Contest, the North Carolina Apple Growers Association Contest, the North Carolina Egg Association Go International Recipe Contest and the North Carolina Pork Council Tar Heel Tailgating Pork Challenge.

The pie recipe is going to be very sweet. If you’re looking for a reason to make it, well, it has pecans in it. Those are good for you. Bet this won’t last long if you do make it.

Turtle Cream Cheese Pie

2 2/3 cups Gold Medal All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold water

Turtle layer
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. butter
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup salted dry roasted pecans

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Caramel layer
1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup caramel sauce for ice cream
1 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping

Garnish if desired
Pecan halves
Chocolate covered caramels or plain caramels

Chocolate sauce

To make crust: preheat oven to 425 degrees. Blend all ingredients in food processor until a ball forms. Cover and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll pie dough into shape of 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1⁄2 inch overhang. Fold under and crimp edge, prick holes in dough. Bake 8-10 minutes.

To make turtle layer: In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, butter and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes together into a thick gel. Cool and then stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Spread into baked shell. Cool in refrigerator.

To make caramel layer: In a bowl, beat cream cheese and caramel sauce until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over turtle layer. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour. Garnish with whipped topping and other garnish if desired.

— Winner, James Dyczewski, Raleigh

Here’s a more traditional recipe for apple cake. Adding cream cheese frosting sends it over the top.

Autumn Apple Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, well beaten
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups raw apples, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and vegetable oil. Add eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well. The batter will be stiff. Fold in apples. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8-inch pans. Bake for 30 minutes and test. May take up to an additional 5 minutes depending on how juicy the apples are.

1 stick butter
8 oz. cream cheese
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar

Cream together all ingredients with a mixer.

Spread icing evenly between the layers and sprinkle chopped pecans on icing for layers but not on top of cake icing. Do not ice sides of cake.

Optional decoration for cake: Thinly slice apple with peeling left on and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place on parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned. Allow to cool and place on top of cake in a circle pattern. Add a few nuts to the center of the apple ring.

— Winner, Mary Fuentes, Charlotte

This recipe, too, is easy and fairly traditional – but oh, so rich with the half and half and butter.

French Riviera Breakfast Egg Bake

1 loaf French bread
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, divided
1 stick butter, melted and divided

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Slice bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices into 2 rows, overlapping slightly.
Mix eggs, half and half, granulated sugar, vanilla, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and mix until well blended.

Pour egg mixture over bread, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the remaining ingredients of melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and remaining cinnamon and nutmeg. Add pecans and mix well. Sprinkle topping over the bread mixture.
Bake 45 minutes or until puffed, golden brown and center is set. Serves 10.

— Winner Faye Smith, Fayetteville

These spicy bites would be good for a bunch of guys sitting around watching football. Maybe keep a bottle of antacids nearby for after the feast, though.

Jalapeno Whoppers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Servings: 12 whoppers

6 large fresh jalapeño peppers
1 4-oz. block sliced Pepper Jack cheese

1 pkg. all pork pepperoni
1 pound hot bulk sausage
1 pound regular bacon
Creole seasoning
BBQ sauce (your favorite)

Split pepper in half, remove seeds, leave stem and end intact.
Fill sliced peppers with slices of Pepper Jack cheese.
Place 3 slices of pepperoni on top of each pepper half that is filled with cheese. Make 12 small thin, round patties of sausage.
Wrap entire pepper half with sausage.
Then wrap each pepper half with a slice of bacon.
Sprinkle lightly with creole seasoning.
Cook peppers on grill for 1 hour at 325 degrees.
Turn peppers to brown bacon on all sides.
Near end of cooking, apply a thin layer of BBQ sauce to each bacon wrapper pepper.

— Winner, Billy Narron, Middlesex

On second thought, maybe you’d better invite a paramedic. Just don’t have your cholesterol checked after eating these.



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