A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Yield: 12 servings. Pastry: 3 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable shortening 1 large egg 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar 2 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons sugar

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Yield: 12 servings. Pastry: 3 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable shortening 1 large egg 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar 2 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons sugar

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Yield: 12 servings. Pastry: 3 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable shortening 1 large egg 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar 2 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons sugar

Strawberry Sonker with Dip

Yield: 12 servings.

Pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 large egg
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

Filling:
1 cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup water
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
8 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered if large

Dip:
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the pastry: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Work in the shortening with a pastry blender or fingertips until the mixture is crumbly.

Whisk together the egg and vinegar in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the egg mixture, and stir with a fork to form soft dough that pulls in all of the dry ingredients. Form two balls, one using about ¹⁄3 of the dough and the other using what’s left. Place each ball on a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten to a disk about 1 inch thick, wrap well, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

For the filling: Whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk in the water and butter until smooth. Gently stir in the strawberries.

To assemble: Using lightly floured fingertips, press the larger disk of dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake until the pastry is dry to the touch, but not browned, about 10 minutes. Pour in the strawberry mixture.

To make a lattice top crust, roll the other piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 13×4-inch rectangle.

Starting on one long side, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut 4 long strips of dough that are 1 inch wide; arrange them lengthwise over the filling, spacing them evenly. Starting on a short side, cut the remaining dough crosswise into strips of dough that are 1 inch wide; arrange them perpendicular to the long strips of pastry, spacing them evenly to make a lattice. (If you are not the lattice type, just cut the rolled pastry into strips or other shapes and arrange them over the filling however you like.) Brush the pastry with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until the pastry is deep golden brown and the filling bubbles, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, make the dip.

For the dip: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

To serve, scoop warm sonker into serving bowls. Ladle a little warm dip over the top and serve at once.

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This story was published on Apr 01, 2016

Sheri Castle

Sheri Castle

Sheri Castle hails from Watauga County, but came down off the mountain to go to Carolina and now lives in Fearrington Village. She is a writer, recipe developer, cooking teacher, and popular public speaker. She is fueled by mountains, excellent bourbon, farmers’ markets, and searching for the right word. Sheri believes that stories happen only to those who can tell them.