Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Church Suppers and Recipe

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?


  1. If I could send you a picture right now, it would be of the book I just picked up from the library yesterday - "Taste of Home Best Church Supper Recipes"!!!! GET OUT! Please tell me you bought the ladyfingers so I can think you're at least semi-human. That looks SOOO good and also those little mint brownies on the front I've made a million times and they're easy and good, too. They have a red, white, & blue Jello-type trifle thing I want to make for the 4th of July. We don't do anything or go anywhere, but it's fun and cute anyway. Good job, Chefobrarian ~ ♥

  2. LOL- we're so in sync as usual Beth! Get Out is right :) Oh yes, I most certainly did buy the lady fingers. You could probably make them from scratch if you are truly insane and have a lot of time, but I still have a thread of sanity. Every dessert in there looked great. Wonderful photos all around.

  3. Our church picnic is this coming Sunday...if the weather cooperates. I am trying to think of something to take that is easy yet not the same ole, same ole.Need inspiration for a salad and dessert. I really don't need to cook for compliments, after sitting in church for SOOOOO long the youth boys will eat anything!!!!

  4. Excuse me while I drooooooooool all over your blog. *slurp* LOL! That torte looks absolutely scrumptious!

    Oh my, I didn't know TOH had that book out! What an awesome idea for those recipes. Now that's one recipe book I would definitely want for myself, too!

    I always take my homemade pasta salad to our church dinners. And usually, the veggies I add are straight from our garden. Mmmmmmmm!

    Have a wonderful and safe Memorial weekend! :)

  5. Don't bother trying to make Ladyfingers from scratch. One of the women in my house tried that once so she could make tiramisu, and it didn't work right at all. The texture was nothing like the store-bought types, and the flavor wasn't right either.

    Your dessert sounds almost like a dessert I've made many times from a recipe from my Gma G, called Cherry Supreme. It has the same filling and topping (or fairly close to it), but the crust is made from 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts, and a stick of melted salted butter. Everything is mixed together for the crust, then pressed out in a 9 X 13 baking pan, and baked at 350 for 5 minutes. After cooling, the filling is poured over the top, then the cherry filling is spooned on. It's delicious, but I especially love that crust. It's also fun to make the crust, then top it with chocolate pudding and whipped cream.


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