I can’t do rides anymore. About 10 years ago the thrill went out and the pain came in. The jerking back and forth, stomach in your throat, head banging sort of excitement is lost on me. I used to love it…the Tilt-o-whirl, the Ferris Wheel, the big boat that rocks insanely high back and forth, even the Scrambler. Remember the Scrambler? It’s aptly named. All of this free-flying fun first experienced at the Pine County Fair, along with the illicit gambling at BINGO (I didn’t know I was gambling.) were relished each summer.
No longer. Now I go for the food. Mini Tom Thumb donuts, deep-fried cheese curds, corn dogs, elephant ears and all you can drink milk are some of my earliest State Fair memories from the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”–the Minnesota State Fair. Now I dine on Indiana sweet corn dipped in butter and that curly fried potato. I can’t complain. I shouldn’t complain. But I’m going to.
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that he’s taking a funnel cake tour of the Midwest. Instead of being envious (I so am.), I determined to make my own gf funnel cake as I anticipate this year’s State Fair. I’m still on vacation, so my rations were limited, but friends, I inspired myself with this little dandy. I’m not sure I’ve ever inspired myself, but when the golden brown, lacey-puffed, haphazard donut cake came out of the hot oil, I sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar (all I had) and bit into the delicate fried dough…BINGO!
I used Alton Brown’s recipe as a guide, substituting where I needed to. I’ll include his recipe here and let you know what I used instead in italics.
Gluten free funnel cakes
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons) 6 tablespoons Land-o-Lakes whipped butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar McCormick cinnamon and sugar mix
- 1/8 teaspoon salt I omitted because my butter was salted
- 1 cup flour One cup Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
- 1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites One cup egg beaters
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Powdered sugar, for topping McCormick cinnamon sugar mix
Boil water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Add flour and work it in until it is all incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer on lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and mixture is smooth, put dough in a piping bag fitted with a number 12 tip. (I used a large ziplock bag and just cut a little hole in the end for piping.) Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan. Pipe dough into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once (use a spatula and fork together to avoid splattering oil everywhere). Remove cake from oil, drain on paper towels, and top with powdered sugar. Continue until all of the batter is used.
I noticed that the Minnesota State Fair has a 2011 gluten-free list; this is not a commentary on the Indiana State Fair, but it would be great if all the fairs would do this. I look forward to rooting out other gf things to clog my arteries this year, but until then, my funnel cake will more than suffice. I’m so encouraged that even without all the ingredients I needed, it’s still possible to make something delicious. Never give up on trying to convert recipes to make them gluten-free. You won’t regret it!