Capirotada de vigilia features symbolic ingredients of Christ’s Passion

Mayuli Bales, diocesan director of Multicultural Ministries

“The smell of capirotada bubbling in the oven was the smell of home,” Mayuli Bales, diocesan director of multicultural ministries, fondly reminisced about the traditional Mexican bread pudding served during Lent. “My grandmother used to make it for the Lenten period and served it on Good Friday. My mother would bake it ahead of time and it was our family custom to eat it on Fridays before Holy Week.”

There are thousands of variations for capirotada, which begins with toasted bread, soaked in a warm, mulled syrup, then layered with fruits and nuts and finally topped with cheese. Some recipes include a layer of meat and others are made with milk. Cuisines differ between the northern and southern regions of Mexico.

The ingredients in this dish symbolize elements during the Passion of Christ: the bread as the Body of Christ, syrup as Christ’s blood, cloves are the nails and cinnamon sticks are the wood of the cross. The melted cheese stands for the Holy Shroud.

Mayuli grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico, which is close to 300 miles southwest of Mexico City. Her family’s recipe for capirotada has been handed down only through oral tradition but she has recorded now it for her children and future generations.

Capirotada de vigilia
Mayuli Bales

6 “bolillo” or 2 stale French bread loaves
2 quarts water
2 cups “piloncillo” (3-4 pieces)
1/2 cup raisins
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 anise stars
6 cloves
6 green “tomatillos,” diced
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
2 cups shredded Manchego or Ranchero cheese (or a blend of both)

Slice the bread and fry it in oil or broil it — turning as needed, until nicely brown and crisp. Remove from frying pan or broiler and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare the syrup in a medium saucepan by boiling the water and adding the piloncillo, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise stars, cloves, tomatillos and onions. Simmer mixture for 5 to 10 minutes until it is slightly thickened and becomes syrup. Pour the mixture through a strainer and discard the solids except raisins. Keep the syrup warm.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or a large casserole dish. Place one third of the bread pieces in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle it with some of the cooked raisins, peanuts, almonds and cheese. Drizzle some of the syrup over this layer, letting it soak into the bread. Continue layering bread, raisins, peanuts, almonds, cheese and a little syrup and finish with a layer of cheese. Pour the rest of the syrup over the whole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350°F.

Serve capirotada warm or chilled.

Yield: 12 servings

Notes from Mayuli:

  • A bolillo is a variation of a baguette traditionally made in Mexico.
  • Piloncillo cones are unrefined pure cane sugar with no additives. (Don’t mistake it for brown sugar.)
  • Tomatillos are also known as the Mexican husk tomato. They are purplish or yellow when ripe but are most often used when green. Green tomatoes can be substituted for this dish if tomatillos cannot be found.
  • Manchego cheese is made from sheep’s milk. It is from the La Mancha region of Spain. Ranchero is an artisan cheese with a dry, crumbly texture similar to Parmesan cheese. It has a mild, buttery flavor. (Monterrey Jack or white cheddar will work in this recipe, too.)

Notes from Carol:

Mayuli’s maternal grandmother was Guadalupe Ruiz. She was from Oaxaca, Mexico. Her mother, who lives in Mexico, is Esther Infante.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Cream cheese makes egg burritos ‘egg-stra’ special

A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed sharing three salmon recipes that I had published in “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a blog I authored for The Visitor from 2010 to 2012.

Eggs are another good choice for a meatless meal during Lent or any other time. Consider preparing these egg burritos that I originally printed on March 28, 2012 — they are a delicious, healthy and inexpensive alternative to fish or meat.

Egg Burritos
(Cheryl Orbeck)

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 tsp. oil
7 eggs
3 tbsp. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa

In a nonstick skillet, sauté the mushrooms, onion and red pepper in the oil until tender. Remove and keep warm. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, egg substitute, cream cheese and salt and pepper. Pour into the same skillet, cook and stir over medium heat until the eggs are completely set. Stir in the sautéed vegetables. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the center of each tortilla; top with cheese and salsa. Fold the ends and sides over the filling. Serve immediately.

Yield: 10 burritos

A note from Cheryl: Sometimes I lay all the ingredients out and let everyone make their own burritos using the combinations they prefer.

A note from Carol: Cheryl discovered the original recipe, which called for 3 eggs and 1 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute, about five years ago in a “Taste of Home” magazine. She submitted it for the “Fruit of the Spirit” cookbook, published by St. Donatus Parish in Brooten, where she and her family were members when she grew up. To order the cookbook, contact the St. Donatus Parish office at stdonatus@tds.net or 320-346-2431. They are on sale for $15 each. (Shipping and handling is $5 for one book or $7 for two.)

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Maple salmon is sophisticated and elegant

This is the third and final in a series.

Meandering through memory lane earlier this month inspired me to bring back three salmon recipes from “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a food blog I wrote for The Visitor from August 2010 to December 2012.

This Maple Salmon recipe is a favorite that I shared with my readers on March 22, 2012. The others are Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon and Pecan Crusted Salmon.

Maple Salmon
(Sheila Ballweg-Pulju)

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. salmon

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic powder and pepper.

Spray a shallow baking dish with no-stick spray. Place the salmon in the dish and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish and marinate the salmon in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the salmon for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it easily flakes with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Sheila: This easy recipe been a family dinner favorite since the day I discovered it. I’ve served the salmon the next day as an appetizer, on crackers and in salads but it’s so good that we rarely have any left over. 

A note from Carol: I wanted to prepare this special recipe for dinner recently but found that there was no time to marinate the fish. So, I prepared the marinade and put it in a baking dish, placed the salmon (skin side down) in the marinade, poured several spoonfuls of it over the topside of the fish and set the dish in the preheated oven. When it was finished baking I again poured several spoonfuls of the marinade — which had reduced beautifully — over the salmon again. I served the fish and the rich-tasting marinade, which I then called a “sauce,” together and it was fabulous!

Enjoy!

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

Pecan Crusted Salmon features flavor and finesse

This is the second in a series.

This Pecan Crusted Salmon is the second in a series of distinctive salmon recipes I’m sharing from “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a blog I previously authored for The Visitor. It was originally posted on March 21, 2012.

Yesterday’s post from this tempting collection featured Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon.

Pecan Crusted Salmon
(Amy Klaphake)

4 (about 6 oz.) salmon fillets
2 cups milk
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. oil

Place salmon fillets in a large resealable plastic bag; add the milk. Seal the bag and turn to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine the pecans, flour, brown sugar, seasoned salt and pepper. Coat fillets with pecan mixture, gently pressing into the fish. In a large skillet, brown the salmon in oil over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 15x10x1-inch baking pan coated with no-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Amy: I usually don’t soak the fish in as much milk or for as long as the recipe calls for. I put it upside down (skin side up) in a glass pan, pour in a little milk, let it soak for about 10 minutes and then pour it off.

I’ve found that the pecan crust mixture makes a lot so I usually freeze half of it and it’s ready to go when I want to make the recipe again.

The first time I made it I browned the fish as directed but since then I’ve skipped that step and put it straight into the oven after I’ve dipped it in the crust mixture. I’ve also put it in a greased aluminum pan and placed it on the grill. It’s turns out great that way as well.

A note from Carol: Amy and I compared notes after I tried this recipe so I did things a little differently. I, too, felt that there was an abundance of the pecan mixture and so I peeled the skin off and covered both sides of the fish with it. (Next time I likely would make half the amount of this crust mixture.)

I followed the recipe and browned the fish — on both sides — since there was crust mixture on both. I made it in an ovenproof skillet and then put that pan directly in the oven rather than using another baking dish.

Enjoy!

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Ginger adds spicy note to Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon

This is the first in a series of three.

The Visitor celebrated Catholic Press Month during February . To share in the fun, I searched “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a food blog I wrote for The Visitor from August 2010 to December 2012 for a “Flashback Friday” recipe for the paper’s Facebook site.

Looking back through my blog entries was a delicious trek! I re-discovered a collection of salmon recipes that I posted in March 2012. They are so enticing I am eager to prepare them again soon and I’m excited to share this tasty series with our readers of “From The Heart.”

We’ll start with Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon that was posted on March 20, 2012. For the full story, click the link above.

Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon
(Sandy Durant)

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. sherry (or apple juice)
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger root
1 (1 lb.) salmon fillet

In large resealable bag, combine the first seven ingredients. Add the salmon. Seal the bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour, turning several times.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil. Coat the foil with no-stick cooking spray. Place salmon in prepared baking dish and discard the marinade. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Sandy: We’ve had lots of compliments on this recipe, which can easily be adapted to suit your own tastes. Make it sweeter by adding more honey or sassier by upping the amount of orange juice and ginger root.

Enjoy!

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Rice Bowl recipes connect us with our global family

Janet Dusek, administrative assistant for the Office of Marriage and Family, and Sheila Reineke, Natural Family Planning program coordinator for the diocese, enjoyed the lunch — which included two Rice Bowl soups — at the retreat.

Yesterday diocesan employees gathered for our second all-staff retreat centered on StrengthsFinder, a program that we’ve been using to learn more about our own strengths and those of our co-workers and to assist all of us in exploring how we can best minister together as a team. Leisa Anslinger, a national leader in StrengthsFinder work, parish engagement and stewardship, led the retreat. We had a great day with team building activities, collaboration, self-reflection and prayer.

Iraqui lablabi (chickpea soup) and Haitian vegetable stew were on the menu at the February 21 Lenten retreat for diocesan employees.

Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl played an important role in our day, too. Two of this year’s meatless Rice Bowl recipes were featured at lunchtime — vegetable stew from Haiti and chickpea soup from Iraq. Both soups received good reviews from those who attended the retreat!

CRS Rice Bowl is a Lenten program sponsored by Catholic Relief Services that helps parishes, schools and families learn more about its work around the world and the people it serves. Participants are urged to put the money they save from eating simple, meatless meals into a symbolic “rice bowl” to be donated to CRS. Perhaps you have saved the Rice Bowl pullout section from our February 9 issue or have viewed the section online. This year’s theme is “Who is my neighbor? Called to be companions on the journey.”

Kateri Mancini, who has recently been named the new director of social concerns for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, coordinated the preparation of the Rice Bowl dishes with staff of The Visitor. Kateri has worked as the coordinator of mission education at the St. Cloud Mission Office for the last 12 years. (The Mass collection taken at the event was earmarked for Rice Bowl.)

This year Rice Bowl offers recipes for cheese soup with fritters from Nicaragua, bean cakes from Burkina Faso and vegetables with rice from Malawi in addition to the Haitian stew and chickpea soup.

Perhaps you remember a Rice Bowl recipe you’ve enjoyed from past years or would like to explore other meatless options during Lent — or any other time. Recipes from 2013 to the present are featured on their website. One that I want to try soon is the bean soup with squash and rice from Honduras. It is a Rice Bowl favorite of our editor, Joe Towalski and his wife, Dianne, Visitor multimedia reporter and graphic designer.

Here’s the recipe for the Honduran bean soup with squash and rice. I hear it’s delicious!

 

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

 

 

Candy cane coffee cakes create custom of giving

Janet Dusek (left) and her mom, Marilyn Muellner, pose with the well-worn “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook” from 1971.

Janet Dusek’s mother, Marilyn Muellner, has always had a knack for making the Christmas season special for her family. As long as Janet can remember, her mom lovingly decorated their home and tree with angels and other treasured ornaments, baked cookies of all kinds and one year sewed each of her children special stockings that they cherish to this day.

A holiday tradition that warms Janet Dusek’s heart is baking Candy Cane Coffee Cakes with her mother, and her sister, Jill Muellner. Marilyn has been creating the festive sweet breads since Janet was in elementary school.

Jill Muellner, Janet’s sister, kneads the dough for the coffee cakes.

“I really have fond memories of these coffee cakes,” Janet said. “They are rich and full of fruit — and also encourage the act of giving. The recipe makes three beautiful cakes. Our family tradition was (and still is) to keep one and give the other two away. Making these cakes is time-consuming as there are several steps in the process and the dough has to rise for about an hour. But, I love that as it allows us to spend more time together and we can use the time to drink coffee and catch up with each other.

“My assignment this year was to chop the sticky fruits,” Janet added. “Jill kneaded the dough and, after all these years, Mom is a master at braiding it.”

Candy Cane Coffee Cakes
Submitted by Janet Dusek

Coffee Cake:
2 cups sour cream
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115°F)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
About 6 cups flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups drained, finely chopped maraschino cherries

Extra soft butter or margarine

Thin Icing:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. water

Heat sour cream over low heat just until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sour cream, 1/4 cup butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough of remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375° F. Punch down dough; divide into 3 extra parts. Roll each part into 15×6-inch rectangle; place on greased baking sheet. With scissors, make 2-inch cuts at 1/2-inch intervals on long sides of rectangles.

Two of the braided candy cane cakes are ready for the oven.

Combine apricots and cherries; spread 1/3 of mixture down center of each rectangle. Crisscross strips over filling. Stretch dough to 22 inches. Curve to form cane. Bake the cakes at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Create icing by blending confectioner’s sugar and water. If icing is too stiff, stir in a few drops of water.

While coffee cakes are warm, brush with butter and drizzle canes with the thin icing. If desired, decorate with cherry halves or pieces.

Yield: 3 coffee cakes

Notes from Janet: Mom always uses butter for this recipe. The original recipe is from the 1971 edition of “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.”

A note from Carol: Janet Dusek is the administrative assistant for the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family. She and her husband, Rod, and their children, Katie and Andrew, are members of St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. Marilyn is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Grey Eagle. (Katie took the pictures for this blog post.)

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Gingersnaps — time-honored cookies baked with spices and love

One of the first Christmas cookies, gingerbread has been around for centuries. The dough for this traditional, spiced treat is generally rolled out and cut into holiday-related shapes. Gingerbread men and dwellings — from simple cottages to elaborate castles — abound this time of year. Gingersnaps are a variation of this historic confection.

Today Mary Beth Hanson shares one of her family’s favorite Christmas cookie recipes — Dipped Gingersnap Cookies. She discovered the recipe in 1997 in a “Taste of Home” magazine and has been making them ever since. When she first started making these cookies for her then high-school-aged sons and their friends, she couldn’t keep enough on hand — the boys really liked them and were able to find these classic treats in all the locations where she “hid” them.

“For me, baking is equated with love,” Mary Beth said. “I’ve always enjoyed baking and cookies are my favorites. They make people happy, make the house smell good and are truly something I love to give to others.”

Dipped Gingersnap Cookies
submitted by
Mary Beth Hanson

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Additional sugar (for rolling cookies)
10 oz. pkg. Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in molasses.  

Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place two inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake cookies at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie springs back when lightly touched. Remove them to wire racks to cool.

Melt the white chocolate wafers according to the directions on the package. Dip the cooled cookies halfway into the melted white chocolate and shake off the excess. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets to harden.

Yield: About 14 dozen

Notes from Mary Beth:
Temperatures seem to vary from one oven to another. I had to adjust mine to a little cooler temperature for baking this recipe. My family prefers these cookies to be soft and chewy. Consider slightly under-baking them as they continue to bake a bit when removed from the oven. I bake them until they crackle on top.

I dip the cookies halfway in the white chocolate, as noted in the recipe, and sprinkle some with decorative sugar before they cool. (White chocolate baking chips or almond bark also work well for dipping.)

A note from Carol:
Mary Beth Hanson has been married to Curt Hanson, the diocesan director of stewardship and development, for 40 years. They are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Little Falls, Minnesota.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

Pumpkin, spice and everything nice

Pumpkin shells have been used to cook or serve just about everything from soup to nuts. Trendy and creative ideas abound employing every size, color and shape of this edible gourd.

Wendy Gessell, who recently shared her Raspberry Ribbon Pie recipe, has been making a comforting mushroom, rice and sausage hotdish in a pumpkin shell for over 10 years. Wendy’s recipe has a nostalgic feel to it — like a casserole one might have sampled at grandma’s table back in the ‘60s. Her browning paper copy is typed on two half-sheets of paper, perhaps from a church cookbook published back in the day. This charming Pumpkin Shell Dinner recipe and quaint, personal notes are those of Mrs. Clayton Anderson.

Pumpkin Shell Dinner

1 (12-14 in.) pumpkin (prepared as directed below*)
1 lb. bulk sausage, cooked and drained
1 c. brown, wild or white rice (or a mixture), cooked
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms; those in butter sauce are good
Celery and onion, chopped as desired
Butter, salt and pepper, brown sugar

Brown the sausage in a large sauté pan. Mix sausage with rice, soup, mushrooms and cooked celery and onions. Spoon this mixture into the prepared pumpkin shell. Put pumpkin shell “lid” in place. Set in a large shallow baking pan, add 2 cups water to the pan and bake at 350°F for 2 hours. Serves 4-6.

NOTE:

* Choose a small (not more than 12-14 inches in diameter) pumpkin that will sit evenly in a pan. Cut a fairly large lid from the top. Scoop out the seeds and stringy portions and wash the pumpkin inside and out.

To serve, it is best to carry the whole, baked pumpkin to the table on a platter and have one person serve it. Spoon out the sausage and rice mixture and then cut squares of pumpkin from the opening to serve alongside. Have butter, salt, pepper and a small bowl of brown sugar on the table to season the pumpkin squares.

If any of the pumpkin shell is left, you can peel it, scrape away the remaining food, mash it and use as canned pumpkin. A pumpkin shell dinner retains heat well. Because the pumpkin shell “lid” keeps the steam inside, some moisture may accumulate. Mixtures that are not watery should be used. Foods with rice and noodles will absorb this mixture, but removing the cover the last 30 minutes of cooking will solve the problem.

A note from Wendy:

I try to make this recipe at least once a year and prefer one-half pound ground beef and one-half pound pork sausage and a mixture of one cup cooked wild rice and one cup cooked brown rice. I use two four-ounce cans of mushrooms but have never seen the ones in butter sauce that Mrs. Anderson proposed. Of course, fresh sliced mushrooms could be sautéed, as well. I suggest sautéing three stalks celery and one medium onion. I put a bottle of soy sauce on the table when I serve this hotdish — it seems to be a tasty addition.

A note from Carol: It’s Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. I feel blessed — and ever so grateful — for many wonderful people, experiences and things in my life. I hope you do, too.

If you are making one last trip to the grocery store perhaps you will consider picking up a pumpkin to fill with Wendy’s hotdish or a creation of your own. I think it’s an innovative, enticing way to serve just about anything this time of year.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Taste autumn’s bliss in this raspberry ribbon pie

I love raspberries! And, it brings me joy to be able to pick the deep-red gems in my own backyard. I try to pick the precious little jewels almost daily during the growing season and choose only those that are fully ripe and delightfully sweet. Of course that puts me in competition with bees, birds and Asian lady beetles that prefer their raspberries plump and juicy, too. That’s OK — I don’t mind sharing a few with them. Mother Nature makes sure that there is an abundant harvest.

I have been raising the Autumn Bliss variety since 2009 and can vouch that this fall-fruiting plant lives up to its enchanting name. The canes start bearing large, delicious raspberries in August and continue until Jack Frost pays us a visit.

Recently, Wendy Gessell, who works in the Office of Marriage and Family at the Pastoral Center, baked a scrumptious dessert with some of the Autumn Bliss berries she and her husband, Steve, grow. I can only say that sampling Wendy’s Raspberry Ribbon Pie took me straight to “pie paradise”!

Raspberry Ribbon Pie

 

Piecrust

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. vegetable shortening
2 1/2 tbsp. very cold water

Filling

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Dash of salt

Glaze 

4 cups raspberries, divided
1 cup water, divided
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp. cornstarch

Piecrust

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the water until the mixture the forms a ball. Roll the dough on a floured surface and fit into a nine-inch pie pan. Flute the edges as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown — cool on wire rack.

Filling

In a large bowl, whip the cream and add the vanilla pudding mix. In a second bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream. Spread half into pie shell. Chill for 30 minutes.

Glaze

Set one cup of raspberries aside and crush the other three cups. Put the crushed raspberries and 2/3 cup water into a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until raspberries are soft. Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and remaining water and add to the raspberry filling. Cook until this glaze thickens. Cool to room temperature.

Carefully spoon half of the glaze mixture over the cream cheese layer. Chill until set — about 30 minutes. Set aside the other half of the glaze mixture, keeping it at room temperature.

Spread the last of the cream cheese mixture over top of pie, taking care not to disturb the glaze layer beneath it. Chill for 30 minutes. Top with the rest of the glaze. Gently place each of the remaining raspberries over the top of the pie. Chill until firm.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Notes from Wendy:

  • I found the original recipe for this tasty treat in a “Taste of Home” magazine several years ago and have been tweaking it ever since.
  • The piecrust recipe is one I have used for several years — it almost never fails. (Double it to make crusts for two pies.)
  • I prefer to use butter-flavored Crisco® in my piecrusts.
  • Occasionally, I have made this pie without the cream cheese layer. When I prepare it that way, adding a dollop of real whipped cream or ice cream takes it “over the top.”
  • I use this recipe for strawberry pie, too. It’s equally delicious. We’ve raised our own Honeoye strawberries for years — it’s a dessert we look forward to in June when the berries start appearing.

A note from Carol:

Wendy’s husband, Steve Gessell, is the maintenance worker for properties of the St. Cloud Diocese. Brilliant when it comes to growing just about anything, he formerly worked (for 10 seasons) as the rose gardener at the spectacular Clemens Rose Garden in St. Cloud. Steve spent 16 years developing the Honeybelle Honeysuckle Vine, which was introduced to the market in 2009. He’s the one who recommended the Autumn Bliss raspberries to me. (Thanks, Steve!). The Gessells are members of St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”