EDITORS NOTE:, I have been having fun reading Nancy Scrofano’s new book AMERICAN HONEY! Nancy joins us today with a sweet recipe for the sonker, a dessert that is just as fun to say as it is delicious to eat. Check out this Southern cobbler-like dessert that is inspired from her new novel!
Thank you to Nancy for joining us and for more information on her new novel, go to: www.nancyscrofano.com
In my new novel, American Honey, recent high school graduate Olivia “Ollie” McKenna leaves her small town roots in Summerville, Georgia, to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. With her best friend and older sister in tow, wholesome Ollie travels to the big city to compete in singing contest Atlanta Idol where she meets nineteen-year-old Jack Bradley, a fellow country singer who quickly becomes a close friend. The connection between them is magnetic and an opportunity to sing together could change their lives forever.
I’m a fan of American Idol. I’ve been watching it since the first season, and I wanted to write a story involving a singing competition. I started working on American Honey after watching the season ten finale of American Idol in May 2011. I was inspired by winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina. I also found inspiration for this book from Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally and ABC’s Nashville. I love country music, and the title American Honey comes from a song of the same name by country music trio Lady Antebellum. The message of the song really coincides with main character Ollie’s journey.
The sonker is native to North Carolina, Jack’s home state, and his mother’s version of this deep-dish cobbler is legendary. Sonkers are often made with blackberries, a favorite local fruit. Jack tells Ollie that his mom’s famous baked fruit dessert is an Apple Blackberry Sonker. Maybe he would make it himself for Ollie as a friendly gesture or possibly as something more… Wouldn’t that be sweet? Or maybe Ollie would try to impress him with her own version.
The following recipe is courtesy of the Hallmark Channel.If you decide to make a sonker, please send me a picture of your finished product. I would love to see it!
Pie pastry for 2-1/2 nine-inch crusts (Store-bought or your favorite recipe. NOTE: If you use pre-rolled store-bought pie pastry, piece it together to make a rectangle. Use the scraps to make the lattice.)
1-1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples (3 or 4)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
5 cups of blackberries
3/4 cup of sugar
1/ cup of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of butter (cut into small pieces)
Divide the pie pastry into two pieces–one about four-fifths of the dough and the other about one-fifth (for the lattice top). Flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Cut up the apples and place them in a large bowl. Toss them gently with the lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Add the blackberries and gently toss. Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger piece of dough into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle. Line a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan with the dough. Roll the remaining piece of dough into a rectangle about 10 inches long. Cut it into 1/2-inch-wide strips to use as a lattice top.
In a small bowl, blend the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle a light layer of the sugar-flour mixture over the bottom of the crust. Layer the fruit into the baking pan, sprinkling with the sugar-flour mixture as you go. Dot with the butter. Arrange the lattice strips in an open basket-weave pattern diagonally across the sonker, trimming the dough strips to fit where necessary. Fold in the side pieces of dough to cover the ends of the lattice strips. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the fruit is hot and bubbling and the crust is browned. Let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes, then serve.
Makes 12 servings.