Father’s Day, that special day set aside to honor our fathers and the father figures who have influenced our lives. A father’s love is such a special gift beyond compare. You only know the meaning when he is no longer there.
My father passed away in 2005 and Brion’s in 2011. The passage of time will never dim those precious memories we have of them. They followed very different paths in their life’s journey; my father was a farmer and Brion’s an army soldier. Both of them gave so much of themselves to their life’s work as well as to their families.
There are not enough words to describe how important my father was to me and the powerful influence he continues to be in my life even though he’s gone.
As a tribute to our dad’s on Father’s day, I am featuring a CHEESE CRUSTED APPLE PIE. Both of them loved apple pie so it seems like a good choice for the blog recipe.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt & cheese. Cut in half the shortening to resemble coarse meal; then remaining shortening until it resembles small peas. Add water, a little at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Shape dough into a firm ball; chill for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry out to fit a 9-inch flan pan; trim edges. Cover pastry with a piece of parchment paper; cover with dried beans & bake for 7 minutes. Carefully remove beans & bake another 7 minutes. Remove from oven & cool.
Chop apples coarsely, place in a saucepan with lemon juice; cover & cook about 10 minutes or until just tender. Stir in flour, sugar & cinnamon; cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour & pecans. Rub in butter until mixture is coarse & crumbly.
Place filling into pastry shell, sprinkle with topping. Bake at 400 F. for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 375 F. & bake further for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Decorate with whipped cream, extra chopped pecans & powdered sugar, if desired.
Due to the fact that ovens sometimes vary in temperature, you may need to adjust the baking temperature a little higher or lower than recipe states.
I can not remember ever being able to pick fresh rhubarb in the middle of May here in northern Alberta, Canada. We are definitely seeing some serious changes in the weather.
I love everything about the plant — how good it tastes, the beautiful huge foliage in the garden and how it can keep on producing all season long. The uses of rhubarb are endless. For most part, I think it is usually thought of as a dessert ingredient. I tried making it into a spicy chutney with pork tenderloin for supper one night and it was real nice.
Bordering one side of my mother’s large country garden grew six or eight rhubarb plants. I can’t even imagine how much they would produce. I recall that special taste of her Saskatoon-Rhubarb Pie. Saskatoon berries grew wild in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This was a good reason for our family to pack a picnic lunch and make the drive on a Sunday afternoon to pick saskatoon berries. Not only did it make for quality family time but those fresh berries were soooo– good!.
Here are a couple of dessert recipes I made with some of my first rhubarb stalks of this season. One is Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler, an old fashioned baked dessert with a tender biscuit crust sprinkled with sugar. The other one is Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfait. If a rhubarb plant isn’t growing somewhere in your back yard you can usually locate some at a neighborhood Farmer’s Market throughout the summer.
Mix chopped rhubarb & blueberries together in a large saucepan. Blend sugar & cornstarch together & stir into the fruit mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup cold water.
Place on medium heat & bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & cook until juices flow & fruit is soft. Pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 1 Tbsp sugar & salt. Blend well. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until mixture is a coarse texture. In another bowl blend milk & egg.
Make a well in center of flour mixture; add milk/egg mixture & stir until flour is moistened. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar evenly. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream.
Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfaits
In a plastic bag, coarsely crush gingersnap cookies; set aside.
Chop rhubarb stalks & place in saucepan with water. Cook over low heat until soft. Remove rhubarb from heat. Add sugar, Cointreau & cornstarch; mix well. Return to heat & stir until thickened; cool completely.
In a large glass bowl, dissolve jelly powder & boiling water, making sure it is completely dissolved before adding to cream cheese. Blend in cream cheese with a hand mixer on low speed. Whisk in juice & zest of orange as well as the Cool Whip.
In parfait glasses, spoon a layer of cream cheese mixture; sprinkle lightly with gingersnap crumbs then add a layer of rhubarb sauce. Repeat layers one more time making sure to divide cheesecake, rhubarb sauce & crumbs evenly between parfaits ending with cheesecake mixture.
Refrigerate about 4 hours; garnish a bit more orange zest & a fresh mint leaf if desired.
Mother’s Day is our time to reflect and show gratitude to the women and mother’s who have been mentors and caregivers; ultimately those who have helped to shape us into who we are.
When my mother passed away in 1978, a friend said to me, ‘she will always be with you’. At that time I hadn’t really understood that comment fully. As the years go by I realized that is so true but of course it is never the same. Never a day goes by without something triggering a special memory of her.
Beauty lives deep in the heart of a mother and all she does for her family. This blog is especially to celebrate: the special memories of my mother for her endless giving of selfless love — my mother-in-law, Dolores, for her loving and kind ways and raising that ‘special’ man I love sharing my life with — to my sisters, who have given so much of themselves to be such great moms.
My choice of recipe for today’s blog is one that I have always enjoyed to make for special occasions — No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine crumbs, coconut & butter; press into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven & cool. Line sides of pan with a strip of parchment paper wide enough to reach the top of pan.
Reserve several strawberries for garnish. Cut two 1/4" slices from center part of enough strawberries to press in a single row of slices around base edge of pan. Cut up remaining strawberries to make 2 cups.
Process strawberries in food processor slightly; add softened cream cheese, sugar, orange & lemon juice. Continue to process until very smooth.
Soften gelatin in cold water; stir over low heat until dissolved. Beat into cheese mixture. Refrigerate until mixture just begins to mound. Fold in 1 cup whipped cream; pour into prepared crust &
refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove cheesecake from pan; carefully remove parchment paper.
Garnish with whipped cream, strawberry slices & fresh mint leaves.
In the picture for the blog I chose to dip some strawberries to use in the garnish. Other times, I have made a floret of whipped cream on top of each serving piece topped it with a slice of strawberry & a piece of fresh mint.
On occasion, I haven't baked the crust if time was of the essence & the cheesecake would be used right away.
If you prefer a stronger strawberry flavor the 1 cup of whipping cream can be omitted. The cheesecake seems to have no problem 'setting up' without it.