blue ribbon deep fried cheesecake

It’s that time of year again. Time to grab your friends, buy your tickets, take a ride on the ferris wheel, and scarf down some junk food. Yep, it’s time to go to the fair!

When it comes to fair food, there’s pretty much nothing that can’t be deep fried. Coke, beer, butter, they’ve strangely done it all. Some things lend themselves better to a dip into hot oil, like Oreos or dill pickle chips. And cheesecake? You betcha!

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Deep fried cheesecake seems to have gotten its crunchy start at the Texas State Fair, and I can’t say I’m surprised — it seems like a very Texan thing to do. Wrap up some cheesecake filling in a tortilla (or in this case, won ton wrappers), drop it into a bath of hot oil and, once crispy and browned, shake on an obscene amount of powdered sugar. It’s just the sort of indulgent fair food that you can make at home!

deep fried cheesecake

makes 16 pieces

16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
10 Tbs (135 g) granulated sugar
3 Tbs (27 g) flour
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp (7 g) kosher salt
2 tsp (10 g) vanilla extract
2 egg yolks

16 large won ton/egg roll wrappers
1 quart oil, for frying
powdered sugar and chocolate syrup for garnish, optional

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest, salt and vanilla on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and paddle with a spatula and mix on medium speed for 20 seconds. Add the egg yolks and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and paddle and mix by hand with a spatula until smooth and uniformly mixed.

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until the temperature reads between 350 and 360 on a digital thermometer. Once the oil is almost heated, lay one won ton wrapper at a time onto a plate or cutting board. Spoon two tablespoons of the filling into the center, spreading it out to a thin line. Dampen the edges of the won ton wrapper with some water, and fold one corner up and over the filling. Fold the sides up over the first folded corner, and roll the whole thing up from bottom to top, adding more water to seal the edges as necessary.

Fry no more than 2 rolls at a time in the hot oil, 1 and a half minutes per side, until the rolls are golden brown. Toward the last 30 seconds of frying, the rolls might split open slightly, but don’t panic! Just allow them to keep frying, and skim out any cheesecake bits so they don’t burn while the rest of the rolls fry.

Set the fried rolls on a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and continue frying until all the rolls are done. Let cool slightly, sift lots of powdered sugar on top and drizzle with chocolate syrup (if you have it!). Store any leftover cheesecake rolls in the fridge for up to 5 days. Pop in the microwave to reheat, or just eat them cold — they’re equally good this way! Deep fried cheesecake is a decadent treat, and eating it just might conjure up images of bumper cars, ferris wheels, midway games, and maybe Big Tex himself!

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