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September 27 – October 20, 2019

Thanksgiving Recipes from our 2017 Creative Arts Competition!

Posted in: Creative Arts, food, Recipes.

Thanksgiving is upon us and just like you, we are thankful for so much this year, including our 2017 State Fair of Texas. Among our favorite things at the Fair are our Creative Arts competitions. During this holiday season, we can’t help but reminisce on some of the delicious foods that were entered into the 2017 Competition Kitchen presented by Community Coffee. Eager chefs from around the state entered their original homemade dishes to be judged in various categories ranging from pies to one-pot meals and everything in between. So with Thanksgiving right around the corner, we thought we’d share some of our favorite award-winning side dish and dessert recipes to make your upcoming holiday season uniquely Texan.

Side dishes

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan topping
by Sarah J. Smith
Fort Worth, Texas
Best of Show Winner; 1st Place – One-Pot Wonders

3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
3 tbsp butter
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy Cream
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp orange zest

½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
3 tbsp melted butter
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook sweet potatoes in water on stove for about 10 minutes until fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool a little. Put in food processor. Add butter, sugar, heavy cream, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, vanilla and orange zest and process until smooth. Pour into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle topping over and put in oven and cook at 350° for about 55 minutes until set.


Fresh Green Beans A La Texas
by Judy Spencer-Creed
Euless, Texas
1st Place – Speedy Dishes

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 small shallots, sliced thin
1 lb fresh green beans, washed
Salt to taste

Heat butter and oil into wok until melted and then add almonds and shallots until shallots are slightly browned and nuts are toasted well. Remove from wok onto paper towels to drain. Put green beans into wok and toss to cover in butter/oil mixture.  Cook and toss until green beans are done. Add salt to taste.  Remove to serving bowl and sprinkle with nut-shallot mixture. Serve immediately.


Cheesy Corn Pie
by Suzy Craven
Coppell, Texas
2nd Place – Farm to Fork

2 tbsp butter (plus extra for the dish)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fresh corn
½ cup whole milk
2 cup grated cheddar cheese
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp Kosher or sea salt
¾ tsp ground white pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
3 eggs
paprika, for garnish
chives, for garnish
bacon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 and move rack above middle position. Lightly butter standard sized pie plate.

Melt 1½ tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook about 4 minutes, until slightly browned at edges. Turn heat down to medium, add garlic, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant but not browned. Combine onion/garlic mixture in medium mixing bowl with corn, milk, 1½ cup cheese, ½ cup panko, salt and pepper, and chives. After stirring, add eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Melt remaining ½ tablespoon butter, let cool slightly, then combine with ¼ cup panko, ½ cup cheese, ½ tablespoon chives, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over pie filling. Bake about 35 minutes, until slightly puffed, set, and beginning to brown. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving, topped with a dash of paprika, more chives, and bacon.

Try serving with salsa for an extra kick.



Caramel Banana Pudding
by Debbie Hamilton
Dallas, Texas
Best of Show; 1st Place – Southern Comfort Food

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
¾ cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ tsp kosher salt

In heavy medium saucepan combine sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Boil until it is a medium amber color, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in cream. It will bubble. Stir in the butter and salt. Set aside to cool.


¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 cup heavy cream
4 lg egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Combine sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in cream. Cook on medium heat and stir constantly. Whisk egg yolks in bowl. Mix little of hot cream mixture into yolks to temper them. Whisk mixture back into hot cream. Add vanilla and butter. Set aside to cool.

3 to 4 ripe bananas
box of vanilla wafers
½ cup or more of the caramel sauce

Whipped Topping:

1 ½ cup heavy cream
1/3 c powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Whip cream in large chilled bowl until soft peaks form and add powdered sugar and vanilla.

Assembly: In 2 quart bowl or casserole dish spread 1/3 of pudding on bottom. Place a layer of vanilla wafers over top of pudding. Place 1/2 inch thick slices of bananas over top of wafers and drizzle 1/3 of caramel sauce over bananas. Repeat process 2 more times. Spread whipped topping over top and decorate with wafers. Refrigerate.


Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie
by Kate S. Rovner
Plano, Texas
Best of Show; 1st Place – Pies

1 1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup frozen butter-flavored shortening (Crisco)
2 tbsp ice water
1 egg white, beaten

1½ cups of sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
4 eggs
4 egg yolks (save white for meringue)
2 tbsp lemon zest
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup water
4 tbsp butter

4 egg whites, room temp
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup of superfine sugar
½ tsp vanilla

luster dust

Crust: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening. Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer. Heat oven to 400. Roll crust into a 12-inch circle, 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to pie plate. Turn under excess and crimp. Freeze 15 minutes. Line with foil and weights. Back for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown and fully baked. Brush with egg white.

Lemon Filling: In 3-quart saucier, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water. Whisk in butter. Cook until mixture begins to bubble and is very thick. Strain directly into Pie Crust. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Refrigerate 3 hours until well chilled. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 350

Meringue: In a bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar. Beat until Meringue is thick and glossy. Add vanilla and mix. Transfer most of Meringue to piping bag fitted with very large open star tip. Spread remaining Meringue on top of Lemon Filling. Pipe Meringue stars on top of Pie.  Bake for 15 minutes until peaks are golden. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle with luster dust.

Pie should not be covered or refrigerated. Does not keep well.

Mission Statement

The State Fair of Texas celebrates all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment.

The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Mailing Address

P.O. Box 150009
Dallas, TX 75315



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