ACTIVE TIME: 1 HOUR — BAKE TIME: 35 MINUTES — TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 35 MINUTES — MAKES ONE 10-INCH PIE
Cornmeal Crust (single, see below), rolled out, fit into a greased
10-inch pie pan, crimped, and partially blind baked
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 hot dogs, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8.5-ounce) package Jiffy brand corn muffin mix
SAVORY FUNNEL CAKE TOPPING
2 large eggs
1½ cups whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 to 6 cups vegetable oil
½ cup chopped scallions, for garnish
Ketchup Mustard Hot sauce
Heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven Deep-fry thermometer
Squeeze bottle or ziplock bag
MAKE THE FILLING: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sweat the celery and onions in the butter until translucent; this should take 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Sauté the hot dog pieces in the same skillet until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the vegetables.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, sugar, sage, and pepper. Add half of the hotdog mixture, ¾ cup of the cheese, and all the corn muffin mix. Set aside until ready to fill the pie.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE PIE: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the partially baked crust on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the crust, top with remaining hot dog mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake on the center rack for 35 minutes, until the surface of the pie is slightly puffy and golden brown.
MAKE THE SAVORY FUNNEL CAKE: In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, flour, garlic powder, chili powder, baking powder, salt, and sugar and whisk to combine. Rest the batter for 10 minutes in the fridge before frying.
While the batter rests, fill a large heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until 350° to 375°F, using a thermometer to check the temperature.
Fill a squeeze bottle or ziplock bag with batter (and cut off a corner of the bag if using). When the oil comes to temperature, hold the bottle or bag about 10 inches over the oil and squeeze in a circular and zig zag motion to make a rough round shape in the oil. Fry the funnel cake until golden brown on one size, flip, and fry until the other side is golden brown as well, about 5 minutes total. I love using a chopstick for the flipping portion. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter to make about nine funnel cakes.
ASSEMBLE THE PIE: Arrange the funnel cakes on the baked pie and sprinkle with the scallions. Serve with condiments on the side and enjoy while listening to the ambient sounds of a state fair!
Cornmeal adds a hearty element to an all-butter pie crust. It takes the flavor in a nutty, savory direction with delicate toothsome mouthfeel. This is the perfect crust for both savory and sweet applications.
CORNMEAL CRUST— SINGLE
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup stone-ground white or blue cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1/2 cup ice
CORNMEAL OR BLUE CORNMEAL CRUST— DOUBLE
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup stone-ground white or blue cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
¼ cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice
PRO TIP: Use blue or white cornmeal depending on the recipe or your preference.
Stir the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl with a flat bottom. Add the butter pieces on top of the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, toss the butter in the dry ingredients so each cube is coated. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut or rub the butter into the mixture until it is in pieces a bit larger than peas (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to over-blend). You want to be able to have big butter chunks in your crust, it will help create a flake, as well as add delicious buttery hits of flavor!
In a separate large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture; do not add the ice, which is just there to keep your water cold. Using your hands in a circular motion, bring the mixture together until all the liquid is incorporated. Continue to add the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until no water (only ice) remains. Carefully mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it comes into one mass; you don’t want to overwork it.
Shape the dough into a flat disc (if making a double recipe, first separate the dough into two equal portions), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight before using.
Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen dough overnight in the fridge.
Excerpted from 50 PIES, 50 STATES by Stacey Mei Yan Fong. Copyright © 2023 by Stacey Mei Yan Fong. Photography by Alanna Hale. Food styling by Caitlin Haught Brown. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company.
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