Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice!

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Fried Pie Lady
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Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Wed, 05/23/12 9:22 PM
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I've ran a fried pie shop out of a concession trailer for a few years now and due to popular demand I'm starting to sell funnel cakes but I'm having problems. I've got an 8" steel funnel cake ring and a big cast iron fryer with peanut oil about 5" deep, heated by a propane fire beneath it. I fry my pies at 370 degrees and that seems fine for funnel cakes, but when I pour in the batter it doesn't come together like I think it should and it's difficult to turn them over without losing integrity. Do you think I'm not pouring in enough batter or what? I'm using more than the "makes five funnel cakes per pound" claim on the package (It comes out to about three per pound of mix) and yet I'm getting a lot of free-swimming "crunchies" but the whole thing isn't coming together. Anyone have a special technique that they use that could help me out? Thanks!

THE WILD DOG
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Wed, 05/23/12 10:15 PM
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they make funnel cake molds with handles on them so they can stick together until you can turn them over, OR you can use squeeze bottles, I've only seen the squeeze bottles in use though. ( get them anywhere )

mikejames533
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Wed, 05/23/12 11:16 PM
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What are you using to pour the batter? We used a metal pitcher with a pour spout kinda like a old coffee pot. Anyway you maybe  pouring to slow. Try to speed your pour a bit and see if that helps. Like everything else practice practice practice to perfect.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Wed, 05/23/12 11:41 PM
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And the already mentioned squeeze bottles are great to fill in the holes that you'll get until you get your batter consistency and pour rate down to a science. I love F.C.s

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 12:26 AM
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Okay - I'll try the squeeze bottle thing. My concern is that they don't really hold a lot more than one funnel cake's worth of batter. I tried using this:  but the hole was too small and you can't squeeze it. So today I just cut a hole in a zip-loc bag, since I didn't have anything else. It poured *very* quickly, so I don't know that speed was the issue. It's apparently a lot more tricky than I thought it would be! Or perhaps I'm just particularly inept. I didn't buy a funnel cake pitcher like this:  because I thought it looked difficult to clean. Also, it can't be sealed. I won't be making them every other minute, unlike at an event, so I thought it would be best if I had something with a cover. I was keeping the batter in the fridge. Do you think the batter being cold had something to do with my problems? Do other people have issues with crunchies or cohesion? I do have a ring with a handle but maybe I'm taking it away too soon? I'd love to learn from others' mistakes instead of having to invent my own! LOL!

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 12:34 AM
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Speaking of inventions...some guy invented a funnel cake batter dispenser...

http://www.funnelcakedispenser.com/

Marone! It pays to be inventive.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 12:57 AM
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Fried Pie Lady
Okay - I'll try the squeeze bottle thing. My concern is that they don't really hold a lot more than one funnel cake's worth of batter.

 
I mentioned the squeeze bottle only as a way to fill in the voids. I have only made them at an event and we had enough traffic that the batter never got put away. And always remember if you want to know how to do anything go to a video.
 
Like this go to Goggle 
and type in:
How to make the perfect funnel cake video.
Or go to Google,
and type in.
how to/do/make ________________ video.

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 1:11 AM
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Holy cow on the funnel cake dispenser! I could never sell enough funnel cakes to make that profitable (there are only 20,000 people in our entire county!) but it's way cool! I would make at the most 20 funnel cakes in a day, so that means I need to put the batter in the fridge, right? Or should it sit out so it's warm? I'm thinking maybe a plastic pitcher with a medium-sized hole? Or are the pitchers designed specifically for funnel cakes easier to clean than I think?

Foodbme
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 4:51 AM
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Google:
how to make a perfect funnel cake
you'll get a bunch of videos that show different techniques like this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xyplVdOGoI&feature=related
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4sUt9ErZH4&feature=related
 

Foodbme
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 4:59 AM

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 8:53 AM
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Fried Pie Lady
I'm thinking maybe a plastic pitcher with a medium-sized hole? Or are the pitchers designed specifically for funnel cakes easier to clean than I think?

 
How hard could it be to wash a pitcher?

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 10:47 AM
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It's the narrow "mouth" that I was thinking would present difficulties, but mostly it was the fact that it wasn't a sealed unit but an open design that gave me pause.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Thu, 05/24/12 10:48 AM
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What are you using to flip?

Two chopsticks or long knitting needles makes flipping quick and easy.

lornaschinske
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Fri, 05/25/12 4:29 PM
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Why don't you PM Fried Tater. He does funnel cakes. At least he did them at the event David  was helping him at  the beginning of the month and I think he's doing them again this weekend as well.

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Fri, 05/25/12 9:22 PM
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The chopsticks idea is a great one! I'm really trying to do this but the little bits and pieces are fouling my oil to the point where little black bits are getting on the fried pies. I'll try PMing Fried Tater and see if he has any ideas. Thanks for the recommendation!

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Fri, 05/25/12 9:27 PM
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Good luck Fried PIe Lady!!

We really do not have many funnel cakes in the neighborhood....since <<<Hoboken>>> is the zeppole capital of the universe!! Then there are the cannolis!

I would love to see some fried pies!!


Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Fri, 05/25/12 9:29 PM
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Apparently Fried Tater chooses not to receive PMs. Any other folks you can think of?

Foodbme
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 4:33 AM
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Fried Pie Lady

The chopsticks idea is a great one! I'm really trying to do this but the little bits and pieces are fouling my oil to the point where little black bits are getting on the fried pies. I'll try PMing Fried Tater and see if he has any ideas. Thanks for the recommendation!

IF YOU'D WATCH THE VIDEOS SUGGESTED You'd see that others simply use a skimmer to take the little black bits out of the oil. DUH!

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 1:25 PM
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From what I have read it says that if the batter is scattering...you may be working too far away from the surface of the oil.

lornaschinske
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 5:29 PM
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Fried Pie Lady


Apparently Fried Tater chooses not to receive PMs. Any other folks you can think of?
I wouldn't know about that. We just either e-mail him direct or call him. Today we are talking to him in person. It's not rocket science. Google "funnel cake" on the internet. The way I have always seen them cooked was  hot oil, a ring, funnel with the 1/2" opening and they always flipped it with a regular pair of tongs and removed with the same tongs when done.. Look up most any funnel cake recipe and it will tell you the temps (at sea level) you need to fry at. Of course you do know that you need to adjust cooking temps for high altitude (a rough guide is to lower the frying temperature about 3 degrees F for every increase of 1,000 feet in elevation over 3,000 ft).
 
a how to on frying funnel cakes
More funnel cake info with links to the tools needed BTW, I have never seen anyone use a "skimmer" to lift the funnel cakes out. Always a pair of tongs.
 
Here's a link to a video.
http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/concession-stand-frying-away/Zg8dzzcznC6dsm4Oqx3pPg
 
A funnel cake ring
 
<message edited by lornaschinske on Sat, 05/26/12 5:36 PM>

holdem
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 5:44 PM
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What brand of mix are you using. We do funnel cakes. The directions on the mix we use is way off on the water. It's to runny to hold together. One other thing you might try is waiting to turn the cake only after you start to see a little browning. Not sure on your fryer. If they start out ok and then have a problem later then your fryer may not be able to keep up the demand.

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 7:06 PM
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You're right - it's not rocket science, which is making me feel like a complete idiot.  
I figured out the first problem I was having - I wasn't using enough batter. But I don't see any websites addressing the issue of refrigerate the batter vs. leave at room temperature, or what's causing all the little brown bits.
I have a propane flame under the cast-iron, flat-bottomed large oval dutch oven in which I have about 6" of peanut oil. It's able to keep up the heat. Perhaps you're correct, Cheeseburger, that the batter's too runny. I was using the Gold Medal Funnel Cake mix but I'd like to make my own from now on.
The best results I've had while pouring is to put it into an actual funnel with one finger plugging the hole (and thanks to Sirloin and Double Chili Cheeseburgers for the videos -they helped). Filet Mignon - I think you may be right about me being too far away from the oil but I was basing it on the videos and even when I was pouring right next to the surface of the oil it still gave me a ton of little loose strings of batter that floated off.
Sirloin, you may be right that I'm ignorant about this stuff. I watched the videos and honestly didn't see anyone skimming, at least to the point that I'm having to skim. Seriously, I'm having to spend at least five minutes trying to get the crud out of the oil with a very good, very fine-meshed skimmer. 
And Filet Mignon - if you're ever in the Ozarks please stop by and I'd be happy to fill you up with some fabulous fried pies. I make 'em better than anyone else (according to my customers), which is why I'm feeling frustrated that something as relatively simple as a funnel cake is kicking my behind!
So I'll try thickening the batter and make sure to hold it close to the surface while pouring. If anyone hears about whether or not to refrigerate the batter or if that's what's causing my issues, please let me know. Meanwhile, I really appreciate your advice and links. You're all that's keeping me from giving up in disgust.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 7:36 PM
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Fried Pie Lady is your Screen Name. Junior burger is your status

Holdem is his screen name. Cheeseburger is his status

Lornaschinske is her name Double Chili Cheeseburger is her status
<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Sat, 05/26/12 7:46 PM>

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 7:42 PM
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Hang on Pie Lady. It will get figured out.

You may have to try a scratch recipe to see if it's the batter...because you don't want what will eventually turn into black dust all over the pies.

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 7:55 PM
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Dr of BBQ


Fried Pie Lady is your Screen Name. Junior burger is your status

Holdem is his screen name. Cheeseburger is his status

Lornaschinske is her name Double Chili Cheeseburger is her status

 
Okay. Now I'm embarrassed!  My only excuse is that I've been working like a dog for the last week. Making good money but I'm exhausted. Please forgive my faux pas.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 8:00 PM
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Fried Pie Lady
Dr of BBQ

Fried Pie Lady is your Screen Name. Junior burger is your status

Holdem is his screen name. Cheeseburger is his status

Lornaschinske is her name Double Chili Cheeseburger is her status

Okay. Now I'm embarrassed!  My only excuse is that I've been working like a dog for the last week. Making good money but I'm exhausted. Please forgive my faux pas.

 
No big deal I have done worse. And I understand exhausted I have been busy as hell all week also and I'm also worn out. So there is no need to be embarrassed.
good luck
jack

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 8:00 PM
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CCinNJ


Hang on Pie Lady. It will get figured out.

You may have to try a scratch recipe to see if it's the batter...because you don't want what will eventually turn into black dust all over the pies.

 
That's exactly right. I'm not willing to ruin my livelihood just to make funnel cakes. I've looked everywhere around the internet and I'm simply not finding that other people are having the same difficulty. And some people are saying "batter should be thick" while others say "batter should be thin". It's frustrating. Some videos show them holding the batter a good foot away from the oil while others are pouring from less then two inches. I really hate that this is making me so crazy but I operate on such a shoestring budget that I don't want to make mistakes that other people have already figured out solutions to.

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sat, 05/26/12 8:02 PM
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Dr of BBQ


Fried Pie Lady
Dr of BBQ

Fried Pie Lady is your Screen Name. Junior burger is your status

Holdem is his screen name. Cheeseburger is his status

Lornaschinske is her name Double Chili Cheeseburger is her status

Okay. Now I'm embarrassed!  My only excuse is that I've been working like a dog for the last week. Making good money but I'm exhausted. Please forgive my faux pas.


No big deal I have done worse. And I understand exhausted I have been busy as hell all week also and I'm also worn out. So there is no need to be embarrassed.
good luck
jack

Thanks, Jack! I'm still blushing but at least my week is over (closed Sundays) and I can sit here on the couch with my feet up and with luck I won't look like such a fool in future postings.

mikejames533
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 05/27/12 7:29 AM
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 Never refrigerate the batter. Always room temp.  Also we fry at 375 degree's if that helps...You'll get it perfected, don't give up.
 
Mike

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 05/27/12 11:25 AM
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Aha! Thanks, Mike! That may be the hint that I've been looking for! I wasn't sure if it could go "bad" so I've been keeping it in the fridge. Next week I'll try it room temp only.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 05/27/12 6:11 PM
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I think next week the Fried Pie Lady (Junior Burger) will be making killer Funnel Cakes. While I'm here I always thought Funnel Cakes should be long and shaped like a Lincoln Log. Lincoln Logs god that shows you how old I am. If they had that shape you could just pick one up and eat it instead of breaking off chunks. Trying to think of something different in case no one knows what a Lincoln Log is.LOL
 
Just did a search they still make them, but now they are expensive geez.


holdem
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 05/27/12 8:21 PM
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Gold medal is a good mix. I'm thinking it's to thin and maybe your flipping it to soon. You'll figure it out.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 05/27/12 9:31 PM
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Gold Medal has a new mold to make funnel cake "swirls""sticks" or they could easily be called "Fun-L-Logs"

http://www.youtube.com/embed/oce4lGf96jQ?rel=0
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 05/27/12 9:47 PM>

chefbuba
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 05/27/12 10:00 PM
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You just need to play around with the batter. Only you will know when it's right.
If you have lots of "chaff"...then your batter is too thin.
 
I do beer battered onion rings, and can have the same issue, batter too thin, or too thick no good. Have to adjust flour/liquid every batch to get it just right. After a while you will know when it's "right"
This picture is after about 150 hand dipped rings.....notice very little chaff.


Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Mon, 05/28/12 11:50 AM
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Yeah, I see that! Okay, so my batter needs to be thicker. That's going to make it more challenging to pour, I think. And thanks for the support, y'all! I won't give up. This can't be that difficult! Kids with MP3s in one ear and a cell phone on the other manage to do this all summer! I did think about those "log" things but decided that I would see how these went over first. And I didn't sell that many of them, which was disheartening anyway. I was very busy last week but it was all fried pies. 

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Mon, 05/28/12 12:12 PM
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Fried Pie Lady,
Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but here goes.
 
I don't bake normally bake, but have used pie crust from the store to make a Mexican pie or two and they were a big hit with friends.
Can I use a store bought  pie shell and cut it in half fill it with smoked pork add a little sauce fold and crimp and bake it?
 
Or would I be better off putting the pie shell into a small foil pan, (like pot pie)  and then add the goodies with a crust over the top? If this ends up being a ton of work I'll only do it once we are very busy as is. LOL
 
Is anyone doing this?

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Tue, 05/29/12 12:47 AM
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Well, I always use homemade pie crust, which I roll out then cut into a 7" circle (I use the lid of a plastic pitcher - it's easy to hold and sharp enough). I fill mine with homemade pie filling and then fry it in peanut oil. If I were to bake them, I'd likely do the same thing. So let's see. If I were using store-bought pie shells, I'd still have to roll them out and cut them smaller, so I'd probably use the same top of a pitcher or something similar. Then you could either use an empanada press, like I do (here's one at Amazon: ) and put the filling in the center then bake it or use tart pans. Honestly, it's easier to use the press. Put a little egg wash around the edges before you crimp it in order to seal it.
 
I wanted to work on my recipes (particularly my dough recipe) so when I first started out I was a lunch wagon at a local plant and I put a bunch of things in the pies - bbq beef, chicken-bacon-ranch, meatballs in marinara, taco meat and cheese and, in the mornings, scrambled eggs and cheese. They went over very well and I think they'd be good for you too. I now only use fruit filling because that's what sold best. You could keep them warm in a small oven.
 
To be honest, the hardest part for you would likely be the dough. After all, you'd be buying something that's already made into a 9" circle and you're having to re-roll it and re-cut it into something smaller. My dough is special because I fry them and you can't use just pre-made dough or it falls apart in the oil. You have to have some kind of protein (like evap. milk or buttermilk or egg-and-vinegar) to bind with the flour. But if you're baking them you should be able to just use regular pie crust.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Tue, 05/29/12 1:08 AM
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Goya is a local company based a few miles away (so the entire line is carried here) and they make ready to go frozen empanada discs that can be baked or fried. Don't know if they are available everywhere...

http://www.goya.com/engli...ry/Frozen-Foods/Discos
<message edited by CCinNJ on Tue, 05/29/12 1:09 AM>

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Fri, 06/1/12 8:34 PM
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Yippee!  I did it! I made the perfect funnel cake without any "crunchies" or having it fall apart or anything and it tasted wonderful! I know funnel cakes were easy for everyone else and that it seems like a silly thing to celebrate but it was a major issue for me and I'm thrilled that I solved it. Anyway, thanks again for everyone's advice and help.

holdem
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Fri, 06/1/12 8:42 PM
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Cool. The directions on the Gold Medal bags are way off as far as how much water to use. I can't believe they haven't figured that out.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 1:08 AM
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Fried Pie Lady
Yippee!  I did it! I made the perfect funnel cake without any "crunchies" or having it fall apart or anything and it tasted wonderful! I know funnel cakes were easy for everyone else and that it seems like a silly thing to celebrate but it was a major issue for me and I'm thrilled that I solved it. Anyway, thanks again for everyone's advice and help.

 
Good for you. Now you can teach someone else if you have employees to do it the right way. The funny thing about that is anyone you share your newly gained knowledge with will not appreciate the time, trials and tribulation you went through to earn and learn. I try to teach about smoking meat and all anyone wants to know is "how many hours at what temp"? But there is much more to it than that. 
Good luck
jack

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 10:20 AM
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I understand what you mean, Jack. Most of us on this site have a passion for what we do - and it shows. Why else would we essentially hang around after work to help the others? LOL! And although I don't have employees, I've worked in other positions where I tried to get people to be enthusiastic and understand the chemistry, history, techniques and/or efficiency of various tasks but they had no interest. They just wanted to do their job with the minimal effort required and goof off. Frustrating. 

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 10:24 AM
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Excellent Fried Pie Lady!

Don't feel bad. I can't (or won't) make pancakes very well. I have to turn on the charm...when I am in the mood for them

I have a fried pie question. Can you fry a pie with a cream base...without expecting big trouble?

6star
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 10:48 AM
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CCinNJ

I have a fried pie question. Can you fry a pie with a cream base...without expecting big trouble?


Why shouldn't you be able to fry a pie with a cream base?  The fried fruit pies have a thickened liquid juice center with the fruit.  I don't see much difference in the liquidity (that has to be a word) of the fillings.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 11:34 AM
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I hope it's possible. I would love to try it. I notice (through research not experience) that many recipes call for a fruit or a fruit paired with cream cheese. A few establishments carry cream pies...but many don't. I just wonder if there are any techniques to a cream pie vs. a fruit only pie....before I decide to get to gettin'.

6star
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 1:56 PM
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Here is a recipe for a Chocolate Fried Pie where, in the review below it, Becky from Georgia added a tablespoon of cream cheese to the chocolate mixture:
http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1813,147180-250192,00.html

6star
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 2:06 PM
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Here is also an interesting comment on Facebook, if you are on Facebook. (I am not.)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-want-to-eat-Deep-Fried-Sugar-Cream-Pie-at-the-Indiana-State-Fair/123698027660329

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 2:25 PM
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I would love the sugar pie version as a traditional fried pie. I found this and it looks like the vendor battered an existing cream pie and fried....or tried.

http://www.winchesternews...c116d37fc404748070.txt

The only experience I have is with the commercial versions where the filling seems like a pudding base. I want luscious luxurious creamy ...without any danger or disaster. Lol
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 06/3/12 2:27 PM>

6star
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 2:37 PM
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Well, you can always try a sample some day when you feel adventerous!  The worst you can do is come up with something inedible, as long as you are careful and don't splatter grease all over yourself when you put the future fried pie in the hot oil.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 2:45 PM
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I have a recipe for liquid cheesecake that might work really well (it's not pudding but has a texture that is close enough with the luscious and luxurious texture). I don't like pie crusts...so I guess it is worth a shot in a fried pie. If all else fails...I can fill cannoli shells.

6star
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 4:41 PM
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Here you go!  Now all you have to do is get their recipe!
http://www.theoriginalfriedpieshop.com/index.html


CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Sun, 06/3/12 5:25 PM
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Since 1893! Haven't made it anywhere close to NJ. For a $25,000 fee someone would do well with a shop like that here.

Those pies look good...

http://m.holmfamilycookbo...fb_sig_network=fw#2313

http://blogs.dallasobserv...inal_fried_pie_sho.php

Buttermilk crust. Hmmm...

I know vodka is a crust trick...but I don't know about frying. I hear sirens in the distance when I think about that.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 06/3/12 5:40 PM>

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Mon, 06/4/12 11:58 AM
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Sorry I wasn't able to respond right away to your question, CCinNJ. A big storm knocked out our internet. Anyway, the answer to your question is a bit complex. If you try to fill a fried pie with a filling containing both eggs and milk, as in a traditional homemade pudding, the filling will "break" or curdle. It'll still taste okay but visually it's pretty nasty. The fried sugar cream pies don't have eggs. If you want to have a pudding fried pie, you might be able to use commercial pudding (something that has chemical stabilizers in it). I've tried selling apricot cream cheese fried pies and they were okay but again the consistency suffered. I sell chocolate fried pies but the recipe is butter, cocoa and powdered sugar, melted and mixed well, with milk and vanilla then mixed in. It gets rave reviews. Because of the butter, it's very thin when it's hot but it thickens as it cools.
 
I don't use commercial pudding. In fact, the only commercial filling I use is cherry and that only because I can't find good sour cherries. Nevertheless, I drive 120 miles every other month just to pick up the best cherry filling I can find. Since I live in a sparsely populated area and my only advertisement is word-of-mouth, every single pie that I sell has to be really good. For every person who buys a pie and thinks it's wonderful, they may tell 2 or 3 people. But every person who gets a blah or icky pie - they'll tell everyone they know. That's one of the reasons why I was stressing about the funnel cakes. If they're not perfect at an event, it's no big thing but if I try to sell them to my neighbors, they'll tell a bunch of people that they're not worth buying.
 
So - the secret to a fried pie crust is that you have to have a protein binder to keep it from falling apart when it's put in the hot oil. (Good bakers are chemists without a degree. LOL!) You can use buttermilk, egg-and-vinegar or evaporated milk (which is what I use). If you're baking the pies, it doesn't matter. I worked for about three months to get a fried pie dough recipe that 1) was really tasty - important because most of the volume of the pie is the dough so it better taste good, 2) would hold together from the first bite to the last so people could walk around an event eating it from a bag and 3) be light and flaky.
 
The pie isn't in the oil long enough to cook the filling, just the dough. So if the cheesecake filling you're thinking of needs to be cooked, you might have to make adjustments. And 6Star is right - you won't know until you give it a shot. Anyway, I hope this answers your questions. Feel free to PM me if you have any others. And, of course, I'll be checking out this thread too.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Mon, 06/4/12 12:14 PM
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Thanks for the help Fried Pie Lady! It's so nice to have a resident pie expert here!! I can count on one hand the times in my life I made any pie (not pizza) by myself and have a digit or two left over. I smiled my way through baking classes.

I will go find the recipe for the liquid cheesecake and see what you think.

Hope you are ok after the storm.

lornaschinske
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Mon, 06/4/12 12:29 PM
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just curious (or what David calls "a dumb question)...  I used to make fried mozzarella cheese sticks. I froze the cheese before breading and frying. The heat from the hot oil was enough to thaw and slightly melt the cheese with out it "blowing out" and leaving a hollow tube of crust. Different thicknesses of cheese make a difference in the thawed consistency. So my dumb question is....  Why can't you freeze the cream cheese filling, shape the dough around the frozen filling and fry? Either a "round" shape if the hot oil thaws a flat version too fast or a flat version if the round shape is still frozen.
<message edited by lornaschinske on Mon, 06/4/12 12:32 PM>

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Mon, 06/4/12 12:40 PM
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Here's a link with the recipe and a pic of the liquid cheesecake. It's a very popular item at Momofuku Milk Bar. in NYC. It would make a great filling for cannoli and makes an outstanding dip...if all else is a no-go.

http://www.tastingtable.c...2/No_forks_allowed.htm
<message edited by CCinNJ on Mon, 06/4/12 12:41 PM>

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Tue, 06/5/12 12:27 AM
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Hmmm... Well, I'm not sure. As I said, I've made apricot cheesecake fried pies but they never sold very well, despite being really yummy. Still, I'm not proud. I sell what people want to buy. As far as just making a cheesecake fried pie, I don't see why you couldn't do just what you wrote - freeze or chill the cheesecake and wrap a fried pie crust around it. As soon as it's out of the oil and cooled enough, put it in the fridge to firm up the inevitable melting of the cheesecake. Would you like me to try this and let you know or would you rather do it?

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Tue, 06/5/12 12:46 AM
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I am thinking of experiment with a cherry pie filling drained or a maraschino base kicked up with a little Coca Cola or Dr. Pepper syrup and a little bit of spice to keep it from being so sweet. Maybe in an empanada disc. If that works without major disaster (knock on wood)...on to the cheesecake pie experiment and a homemade crust.

Fried Pie Lady
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Wed, 06/6/12 10:58 AM
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Let me know how that turns out! Sounds interesting.

CCinNJ
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Re:Funnel cake difficulties - please give me advice! - Wed, 06/6/12 11:19 AM
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I will make them for my card game...this weekend. I can get some feedback from a group of ladies who grew up here and never had a fried pie...but for the commercial variety. I just have to find a balance to the sweet since I am taking out almond extract and lemon juice and replacing it with some syrup (I want to be careful about making them too juicy as well.)

I will post pics of the pies...good bad or ugly! Fingers crossed.

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