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Funnel cakes bring the fair home

Funnel cakes are one of the attractions at fairs and exhibitions. Lorrene Davis shares her recipe, which makes about 8 cakes, depending on the size.

The recipe from Mill-Bridge Craft Village in Soudersburg, Pa., sent by Rosemarie Kassebaum includes corn meal, which will add an interesting texture. This recipe yields more funnel cakes, but either recipe can be reduced if you want a smaller number.

Pecans are delicious however they are used, and sweet spiced pecans are especially nice to have when you are entertaining. An egg white combined with sugar and spices is one of the preparations, and there are two more recipes. One resembles a praline coating, and the other is similar to a fondant coating.

For: Nancy Zunt of Hudson.

From: Lorrene Davis of Weeki Wachee.

Recipe: Funnel cakes.

Funnel Cakes

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup water

{ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

\ cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

\ teaspoon salt

Oil for deep frying

Confectioners' sugar

Beat eggs; add milk, water and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; beat into egg mixture until smooth.

In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees. Cover the bottom of a funnel spout with your finger; ladle { cup of batter into funnel. Holding several inches above the skillet, release your finger and move the funnel in a spiral motion until all the batter is released (scraping with a spatula if needed). Fry 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 8 cakes.

Note: This can be poured from a measuring cup instead of a funnel.

From: Rosemarie Kassebaum of Largo.

Recipe: Funnel cakes from Mill-Bridge Craft Village, Soudersburg, Pa.

Mill-Bridge Funnel Cakes

3 eggs

2 cups milk

\ cup sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

{ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup corn meal

Oil for deep frying

Beat eggs and add milk and sugar. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Add corn meal to sifted mixture and mix well. Add dry ingredients to egg and milk mixture. Beat batter until smooth.

This batter should be thin enough to run through a small funnel. Drop from funnel into hot deep fat (375 degrees), holding finger over bottom of funnel to control amount of batter released.

Make into one of the following designs: Start at center of pan, swirling batter outward in a gradually enlarging circle, being careful not to touch circles or let batter run through funnel into hot fat in any shape you desire, crisscrossing to make an intricate design. Fry until a golden brown and remove from fat and drain. Makes about 30 cakes, depending on size.

For: Linda Pinke of Oldsmar.

From: Elaine Feldman of Safety Harbor, Marilyn Bradow of Bradenton, Kathryn Barefoot of Spring Hill, Lucille Frechette of St. Petersburg and Dorothy Burslem of Clearwater.

Recipe: Spiced pecans.

Spiced Pecans

1 egg white

1 teaspoon cold water

1 pound pecan halves

{ cup sugar

\ teaspoon salt

{ teaspoon ground cinnamon

{ teaspoon ground nutmeg

\ teaspoon ground cloves, optional

Beat egg whites and water until frothy but not stiff. Add nuts and mix until coated. Mix sugar and spices; add to nut mixture and stir to coat well.

Place on cookie sheet with sides and bake at 225 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Watch that they don't burn. Cool and store in airtight container. Excellent for gifts.

Note: You can use 1 teaspoon cinnamon instead of cinnamon and nutmeg if desired.

From: Margaret Jahns of Tarpon Springs.

Recipe: Cinnamon-ed and sugared pecans.

Cinnamon-ed and Sugared Pecans

1} cups granulated sugar

{ cup light corn syrup

{ cup minus 2 tablespoons water

3 cups fresh pecan halves

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

\ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy 6-quart saucepan. Place over low heat, covered, and heat to dissolve sugar, about 15 minutes. While sugar is melting, toss the pecans, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.

Uncover the pot, raise the heat to medium high and boil the mixture until it reaches 236-237 degrees on a candy thermometer. Quickly pour the coated nuts onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. With two oiled forks, separate the nuts so they don't stick together and are completely apart from each other. When they are cooled to room temperature, break off any large clumps that formed. Store in airtight tin. Makes about 3 cups.

From: Jean Howley of St. Petersburg.

Recipe: Cinnamon pecans.

Cinnamon Pecans

\ cup evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

\ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons water

\ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups pecan halves

Combine first five ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add pecans and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Cook until pecans are completely sugared with no syrup left in pot. Spread on wax paper and let cool. Store in airtight container.

Recipe requests

Elizabeth Graubard of Palm Harbor writes that her calamondin tree is loaded with fruit, and she needs recipes to use them.

A sauerkraut relish recipe and the recipe for clam chowder like that served at Leverock's are the two requests of Helene Zalay of Oldsmar.

Is there a local source for dry cottage cheese? Helen Valimont of Largo and Gayle Evans of St. Petersburg write that they have recipes that include this ingredient, but they are unable to find it.

You Asked For It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked For It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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