Editor’s Note: Carmon Hacker is a writer friend of mine going back some 20 years to the days I worked at a small newspaper in southwest Ohio. She’s a fine writer and a great cook/baker, so this week I thought I’d try something different and offer a selection of her prize-winning county fair recipes. Yum! This website does say “Kevin Williams and Friends” at the top, so thought I best do more of the “friends” part:) Her recipes and photography are amazing. Wait until you see the applesauce cake tomorrow!
By the way, I do love county fairs. At the risk of romanticizing them (I know, I know beef, sheep, etc go to slaughter from there) they are, to me, one of the last bastions of slower-paced Americana where neighbors see one another and the community comes together in celebration of all things agrarian. I used to cover the county fair for my local paper and it was a very special time each summer when “fair week” arrived….it meant demolition derbies, biscuit and gravy breakfasts, fair royalty pageantry, politicians strolling the midway and more. Carmon’s recipes make me want to head out to the county fair, but I missed it this year. Ours is held in July.
Okay, now to turn this over to Carmon Crystal Hacker, a resident of Trenton, Ohio:
CARMON’S COUNTY FAIR LATTICE-TOP STRAWBERRY PIE
Two 9-inch pie crusts
5 ½ cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Egg wash (1 egg yolk plus 1 Tbsp milk)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pie crusts, divide in half and set in refrigerator while you
prepare filling. Place quartered strawberries in a large bowl. Add vinegar and lemon juice to
berries and mix. In a smaller bowl place dry ingredients, including sugar, salt and cornstarch.
Mix together, then combine with berry mixture.
Roll out first pie crust and place in 9-inch pie pan, leaving edges hanging over. Then, pour berry
filling into unbaked crust. Roll out second crust and cut in 10 strips, each about 1-inch wide.
Place 5 strips at even intervals over crust, putting shorter strips at the edges. Next, take one
strip and weave through the 5 strips, going over, then under and continuing to edge. With the
next strip, begin by going under, then over and continuing to edge. The third strip will begin by
going over; the fourth one will begin by going under, and the fifth one will begin by going over.
Remember weaving paper like this for projects in elementary school? It’s a similar process.
Finally, trim the edge of crust and crimp, incorporating the strips with the bottom crust.