favorite fair foods, made easy

fair recipes made easy


Growing up in rural Connecticut, all I thought about was “fair season.” I waited ’til September for it, I saved up my allowance to spend at it, I ate myself silly while I was there–it was above and beyond one of my favorite parts of my childhood.


Making it to fairs has been increasingly hard since I moved to NYC, and as much as I love the city food scene or Smorgasburg, nothing compares to the eats at fairs like The Big E. I won’t be making it to any of my favorites this year (sad) so I jumped at the chance to at least re-create some of my favorite fair foods at home. I’m a pretty traditional gal–I stay far (far far far) away from all the random, trendy fair food…especially anything that entails frying a candy bar, Twinkie or my least favorite, Oreos (I shudder to think about those fair stand workers turning my favorite cookie into fried mush). Instead, I go old-school. My top three faves:



baked potato


Loaded Baked Potato


This is one of the first stands I head to when I hit the fair grounds. There’s something about the sinful combo of butter, cheese and sour cream that really just makes me drool (sorry, but it’s true).


baked potato toppings

loaded baked potato


Stab some fork holes in your potato and pop it in the microwave for five to seven minutes, depending on the size (you’ll know it’s cooked when you can cut it in half and the middle is soft). Add some unsalted butter, then shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream on each side and top with fresh chives. Finish with salt and pepper, then dig in!



fried dough


Fried Dough


I go with sauce and cheese, which I’ve learned a lot of people find strange (you guys have been missing out all your life!). The great thing? One batch can be made with sauce and cheese, and the next with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Best of both worlds!


pizza dough


Fill a deep sauce pan with vegetable oil and heat until it’s 375 degrees (use a candy thermometer, or just guess and see if your dough fries–it should take about 10/15 minutes to heat up on high). Create balls of dough about the size of your fist. Flour a flat surface and the dough, rolling out with a pizza roller until round and a few centimeters thick. Lower one piece gently into the hot oil, making sure you don’t splash yourself.

fair fried dough

Allow to fry on one side until brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Flip over using tongs, and fry the other side, draining on a plate covered with paper towels when golden brown. Top with sauce and cheese or powdered sugar and cinnamon. Your call!



fall apples


Apple Hand Pies


Simply put, nothing screams fall more than any version of apple pie. These are fair-ready because they’re easy to hold…perfect if you want to double fist it (you classy lady, you).


apple hand pies


Start with pre-made pie crust, and cut it into circles (I used a knife to cut around the mouth of a soup bowl, and the size worked great!). On the stove, place a sauce pan, and fill it with 4 skinned and chopped apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples have gone soft and the mixture has thickened (it should smell amazing, so now is the perfect time to invite over that guy you’ve been wanting to impress).


fair apple hand pies


Let the apple mixture cool. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray and place the pie circles on it. Top half the circle with the apples, then fold it over itself, crimping the edges with a fork. Coat the top with a light butter wash, then sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon and sugar. Cook at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the pie crust has browned and begins to crack on the top.


fair inspired apple hand pies


Bonus points if you serve these with ice cream. Because let’s be honest, ice cream makes everything better.



Do you ever go to fairs in the fall? I want to know your favorite indulgent fair food!





  1. says

    Hmm, somehow I don’t think I’ve ever been to a fair. But I would certainly be happy to go and eat all of these things! This fried dough in both incarnations looks quite intriguing…

  2. says

    Loaded baked potato and apple pie? I’m going to weigh 200 lbs! 😉 I’m so glad you stuck to the classics because I just can’t get down with fried candy bars. I took one bite last year at the fair and blech. Not my thang!

  3. says

    The closest I get to fair food is at the fest of San Gennaro and when I go apple picking. My favorite fair food is any form of fried dough: zeppoles, funnel cake, apple doughnuts. Flour and sugar are always such a winning combination.

    Also, I’ve never understood fried Oreos. People think I’m nuts because of it, but I’m just not sure about it.

  4. Rita says

    Fair Food. You’re killing me Larry lollll!!!!! I haven’t been to a fair since I don’t know when. And what I miss the most is fair food. I love how you recreated fair foods at home. It looks so simple and would be such a fun idea for a party! Thanks for sharing girl and thank you for your sweet comment on my video! Rita @ http://www.CoastWithMe.com

  5. says

    Ah the Big E! I miss that fair…I used to go every year! Fried dough was my go-to, but I have never had ti with sauce or cheese (or even seen it served that way) but it sounds like fried pizza which sounds amazing!

  6. Emily says

    These photos are so great! My guilty fair favorite is the “fry brick” — probably the greasiest option possible but soo good.

    The fried cheese dough looks intriguing, but I don’t like the cleanup hassle that pan frying creates when you don’t have a dishwasher!

  7. Elizabeth // The Now says

    First off…these photos are beautiful. Second, all this food looks/sounds delish. We love going to the fair but my husband HAS to get the crazy foods like fried oreos, fried bacon etc…..My stomach always hates me. These would be great alternatives

  8. CharminglyStyled says

    What a cute idea! Those apple hand pies look delish – and of course would be even better with Ice cream….hello, yummy! xx

  9. says

    Great idea! Fair time for me was at the end of August growing up and I know exactly what you’re talking about. I am 100% a caramel apple lover. But if I had to pick a second, I would go with the fried dough, or funnel cake. Looks like you did an awesome job with all of these!

    Have a great weekend lady!
    xo Jackie

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