Friday, June 22, 2012

Dessert Ex-Straw-Vaganza

If you're rescue mission staff, you are accustomed to having responsibilities outside the normal scope of your job description.  That is why I, as human resources director, had oversight of the Strawberry Festival's Dessert Ex-Straw-Vaganza dessert competition (but I also had a lot of assistance from co-workers).  Because it's such a fun event, and I get to sample the entries afterward, I don't mind at all!  This year we had seven finalists who made some fantastic strawberry desserts.  The entries were judged by a panel of six judges, comprised of local "celebrities' and baking experts. They carefully scrutinized each dessert and awarded points based on presentation, creative use of ingredients, and strawberry flavor.  As they say, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!  Our local radio program, "Listen to the Mrs." with Art Lewis and Sue Smith, did a remote broadcast of the contest, as well as offered advice through the planning process.

The winning recipe, Two-Tiered Strawberry Pie, was entered by one of our dear mission volunteers.  Nancy was quite surprised that she won, claiming she had never made a strawberry pie in her life.  The recipe she used was an "old, old recipe that belonged to [her] mother," and Nancy was kind enough to give me permission to share it freely. . .so I am!  I know I'll be making this pie in the near future. . .maybe tomorrow!  :)  

Two-Tiered Strawberry Pie (a make ahead dessert to chill until time to serve)

Baked 9" pie shell
1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup grenadine syrup
1 T. lemon juice
2 cups fresh whole strawberries

Add confectioners sugar, vanilla and almond extract to cream cheese and beat until smooth and creamy. Fold in whipped cream. Spread evenly over bottom of baked pie shell. Chill thoroughly several hours. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. Add water slowly, stirring to make a smooth mixture. Add grenadine syrup and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and clear. Cool. Add to strawberries and stir to coat with glaze. Spread over top of chilled cheese layer. Chill before serving. Additional whipped cream may be used for garnish.

Congratulating Nancy on her first place dessert

Nancy's presentation before she added the final whipped cream touches to the pie

No comments:

Post a Comment