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Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook Showcases Appalachian Cuisine

Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook
Tupelo Honey Cafe

Southern food is a popular cuisine in many foodie circles. But an Asheville restaurant seeks to highlight a subgenre of Southern food: Appalachian cuisine. Chef Brian Sonokus of Tupelo Honey Café and co-author Elizabeth Sims demonstrate the versatility of Appalachian cuisine in their new book, Tupelo Honey Café: New Southern Flavors From The Blue Ridge Mountains. Host Frank Stasio talks with Sonokus and Sims about the expansion of Tupelo Honey Café and their new book. 

Chef Brian shares his chocolate pecan pie recipe and more.

For the pie:

3/4 cup light syrup

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons tupelo honey

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

1/ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup ice water


In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water in a slow stream, pulsing the mixture no more than 30 seconds until a ball begins to form. Remove the dough from the processor and divide into two pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic rap and flatten with the palm of the hand. Refrigerate ate for at least 1 hour. When ready, roll out each piece on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin to make two pie crusts. 


Roll out 1 (11-inch) pie crust, lay it in a 10-inch pie pan, and crimp  the edges. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the corn syrup, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla and honey, mixing well. Stir in the melted butter. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Top with the pecans and chocolate chips. Bake the pie, rotating halfway through cooking, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the pie filling bubbly. Serve this pie warm with vanilla ice ream or sweetened whip cream.

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Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.