UPDATE: This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Nancy Cashwell, the winner of an autographed copy of A Season for Tending.
Today’s post was written by Melissa K. Norris. Melissa will be posting here once every other month. She’ll share recipes, tutorials, etc. that reflect the Amish lifestyle for those of us who still live in the modern world. I hope you’ll also scroll to the bottom of the post to participate in my giveaway of an autographed copy of A Season for Tending, the first book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.
One thing I love about holidays is the chance to make something special in the kitchen. Recipes are more than just food—they are memories, past, present, and future.
Even though I barely remember my great-grandmother, I feel a connection to the woman she must have been when I use her recipes. It’s a way to reach back across the years and hold hands with the originator of the recipe. Flipping through my recipe book is like a photo album. I see family, friends, and loved ones again. No matter what separates us now, be it time, miles, or the grave, among the titles and ingredient lists, voices, laughter, and smiles weave their way through my memory and heart.
Valentine’s Day is a chance to create something and say I love you to the special people in your lives. Though we don’t need a holiday to do this, and shouldn’t wait for them, I think it’s a fun tradition to spread some love and homemade goodies on February 14th.
I want to share my recipe for my homemade raspberry cream cheese tarts with you. Many of my recipes use things I’ve canned and preserved throughout the summer. I had a few extra jars of raspberry jelly and decided to create a new recipe using my great-grandmother’s Best Ever Flaky Pastry and I came up with these tarts.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Tarts
Two pie crusts–my recipe only takes 15 minutes for wonderful homemade pastry
4 ounces (1/2 package) of softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the softened cream cheese and honey. (You can adjust amount of honey to taste.) Roll out your first chilled pastry dough to a ¼ inch thickness on a well-floured surface. Use a large heart cookie cutter or a glass turned upside down. Cut out your circles of dough. Place a large tablespoon of jelly in the center of each dough circle. Spoon a good-sized teaspoon of sweetened cream cheese on top.
Roll out your next chilled pastry dough and cut out tops. Place them on top of jelly and cream cheese mixture. Use the tines of a fork to press the edges together. Don’t worry if a little bit of jelly squishes out. Poke holes in the top of each tart with a fork to let out steam. Sprinkle top with a light dusting of sugar. (If you like cinnamon, a small amount would be tasty.)
Transfer to an ungreased baking stone or cookie sheet. Bake in 400 degree pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until the top of the tarts start to turn golden. Remove from oven and cool. Share with someone you love.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. My son begged me to send them in his lunch for school.
What’s your favorite family recipe? Do you have any kind of recipe traditions for certain holidays?
Melissa K. Norris is a Christian novelist, newspaper columnist, and non-fiction writer. Her stories inspire people to draw closer to God and their pioneer roots. She’s a skilled artisan crafter, creating new traditions from old-time customs for her readers. She found her own little house in the big woods, where she lives with her husband and two children in the Cascade Mountains. She writes a monthly column, Pioneering Today, for the local newspaper that bridges her love of the past with its usefulness in modern life. Her books and articles are inspired by her family’s small herd of beef cattle, her amateur barrel racing days, and her forays into quilting and canning—without always reading the directions first.
In A Season for Tending, Rhoda Byler is searching for her Mammi Byler’s old apple recipes. They are a family heirloom and very special to Rhoda. In the back of the book, I’ve included two apple recipes (Dutch Apple Pie and Apple Dumplings) that are probably very similar to the ones Rhoda’s Mammi Byler might have used.
If you would like to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of A Season for Tending, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post on my website by going to http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/2013/02/13/homemade-tarts/.
If you are reading this anywhere other than my website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to my website and leave a comment at the bottom of my post to enter the giveaway.
Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway.
The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, February 19, 2013, at noon. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.
Book Giveaway Results
Last week, I gave away autographed copies of A Season for Tending and The Winnowing Season to one recipient. Random.org was used to select the winner, and that winner is Brandie W. Congratulations! Brandie, please send your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your books.