By DL PERRIN
LAGRANGE — Two LaGrange County pre-teens won the baking awards division at the LaGrange County 4-H Fair this week.
Sadie J. Edsall
Sadie J. Edsall, 10, won the overall Grand Champion of the 4-H foods.
“I enjoy baking, but I have my mother help me put the food in and take the food out of the oven,” she said.
Her mother, Charlotte, waved her hand and said , “Oh no, she does it all. I just make sure it is done safely.”
Sadie likes to experiment with her ingredients.
“Actually this recipe was a combination of three recipes that I found in our family cookbooks,” she said. “I have some of my dessert recipes in those books too. I liked the idea of sweet potato praline muffins but I thought if I added the fresh cranberries it would make my muffins ‘pop.’ I used walnuts too, it looks like I was right.”
Her mother said she wanted to double the cranberries next time, but Sadie just gave her the “look,” and the conversation trailed off. Being Grand Champion, Sadie’s muffins will be making the trip down state to compete in the State Fair in August — the way Sadie likes to make them.
Erin Miller, 12, won for her pie, aptly title “pi.”
Miller said she wanted her pie to stand out. And it did.
She searched through an old recipe book and found a basic recipe that she embellished for her entry into the LaGrange 4-H fair food competition. Miller gave her fruit pie the name “pi” and decorated it with numbers cut from dough, in the mathematical equivalent of pi which is 3.14 on to infinity.
She could only fit nine numbers on her pie but it still made the point of her pie’s “pun.”
Not stopping with numeric dough décor, Miller decided to pick the most difficult crust edge. She chose to braid her crust.
Her mother, Shawn, is there for advice but she stays out of her daughter’s way in the kitchen.
“She wants to do it herself and that’s it,” Shawn said.
Erin said she wants to do it all because, “If it doesn’t work then I know what I did, if something goes wrong. I made the pie a couple of times and it was too runny. I wanted to use local fruit. My grandfather grows blueberries and we have sweet cherries too. So I had to add more flour to thicken it and you have to always taste it. I thought the combination of those two fruits made a tasty pie and so did the judges.”
Sadie’s Sweet Potato Cranberry Muffins
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
In a separate bowl, mix:
2 cups mashed sweet potato
1 beaten egg
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry and wet until blended. Stir in 1 1/2 cup cranberries
Spray muffin tin or line with paper. Fill 3/4 full with batter then sprinkle topping on each muffin.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes. Check with a clean toothpick to see if the inside is done.
Yield: 1 dozen
Erin’s Cherry-Blueberry “Pi”
Make and chill dough first.
The following will make 2 crusts
2 cups flour
2/3 cups lard
6 to 10 tsp. cold water
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt.
Use a pastry cutter to mix flour, salt and lard until it forms crumbs.
Add vinegar and a little water to form a smooth ball.
Split dough in half and roll out two circles for 9 inches.
Lay one circle in pie plate and chill both in fridge for nearly 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2 cups fresh pitted cherries
2 cups blueberries
3/4 cups suger
1/3 cups flour
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. butter
1 T. milk
Blend fruit, flour, spices and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Pour onto chilled dough in pie pan. Dot with butter.
Roll out top crust and apply.
Beat egg and milk, then brush the mixture brush over top crust and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Cover edges of crust lightly with foil to prevent burning.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Remove foil and lower heat to 350.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until browned and bubbly.