Who knew that Taste of Home just published a new recipe collection devoted to the always timely matter of church suppers? Without thinking twice, I grabbed it from the New Book section for further investigation. At our small church we have a lot of freedom to bring whatever dish we want to a carry in, so I've pretty much settled into a pattern of bringing a few select favorites in a constant rotation every year. In other words, if more than one person compliments me on it, it's coming back again. We also tend to do themes for church meals, such as soup and salad dinner, outside picnic, fellowship breakfast, etc. so it's easy to come up with an idea within the theme. This book looked like a good way to peruse new ideas, but of course I wasn't strictly thinking of potluck dishes. When I saw a picture of this cherry cheese torte, it looked like a winner for any occasion. It was very easy to make, not too heavy for the warm temperatures that we're getting now, and a great use of canned sweet cherries.
Cherry Cheese Torte
2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel (I omitted- and it was fine without it.)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (21 oz.) cherry or blueberry pie filling, or 1 quart if using your own home canned filling.
Place a layer of ladyfingers on the bottom and around the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Add lemon peel and juice; mix well.
In a small mixing bowl, mix cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread half over crust. Arrange remaining ladyfingers in a spoke pattern on top. Evenly spread with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
Top with pie filling. Cover and refrigerate in pan overnight. Remove sides of pan just before serving. Serves 12.
If you're wondering what to do with the left over whipping cream, well, it's strawberry season so use your imagination. :)
What are some of your favorite ideas for pot luck dishes?