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Recipe: Surry County sonker

Posted May 12, 2016
Updated May 13, 2016

The sonker, kind of like a pot pie or cobbler, originates from Surry County, North Carolina. The Surry Sonker Trail features restaurants that serve up the treat. Courtesy: Surry Sonker Trail

A very long time ago, I was a newspaper reporter covering a few counties near the Triad and wrote about the annual Surry Sonker Festival, which was held in Dobson that year.

The annual festival, which is in October in Mount Airy this year, celebrates sonkers, which are kind of like a pie or cobbler that involves fruit and unshaped dough and sugar or sourghum cane molasses. And here's its claim to fame: It comes from Surry County. I had my first sonker that day, nearly two decades ago, and I still remember it. It was warm, gooey, deliciousness.

So, when I learned that there's actually a Surry Sonker Trail, I started planning my trip back to my old stomping ground and asked, nicely, for a recipe so I could recreate it myself.

This would be so yummy with the strawberries that are in season now. Or the peaches and blueberries yet to come. Then again, apples in the fall would be delicious. Oh ... you get the idea!

Surry County Sonker - a traditional recipe (easy "cuppa" version)
Courtesy Surry Sonker Trail

1 stick butter, melted
4 cups of fruit (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup and 1 tbsp of sugar
1 cup of self-rising flour
1 cup whole milk
1 pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the butter and put into 9x13 baking dish or a deep dish type of baking dish. You can melt the butter directly in the dish as it preheats, if you wish.
3. In a saucepan or cast iron pan, warm the fruit and 1/4 cup of the sugar sprinkled on the top. Cook until it starts to bubble and the fruit juices increase.
4. Mix together the flour, the rest of the sugar, vanilla, and milk.
5. Pour the fruit in your baking dish, then pour the rest of the ingredients all over the fruit OR you can pour the batter in first, then pour the fruit over that! Either way works fine!
6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.


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