This dessert is full of nostalgia for me. I was hooked the first time my new grandma, Josie, made this torte. At eight years old, I was and enchanted by her quiet, sweet ways ( not yet old enough to appreciate her wealth of wisdom.) When I married, she arrived a week ahead of time and quietly served- cooking, cleaning and doing dozens of other little jobs I wasn’t even aware of. We enjoyed some time in the kitchen as she coached me through four pans of blueberry and cherry tortes for the rehearsal dinner ( I baked bread and dessert- she did everything else.) She traveled up to Alaska and visited while I was pregnant with our first baby, disposing a little bit more of her vast knowledge of herbal remedies, gardening and natural medicine. I was just becoming interesting at this point, but sadly I didn’t get anymore grandma time- she passed away far too soon. I’ve missed her over the years and often yearn to enjoy another delightful and informative chat with grandma. After her death I was somewhat consoled by the introduction of Google- it wasn’t near as comforting as calling up grandma Josie, but at least someone could answer my questions!
2 cup flour
1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
*optional ½ cup chopped nuts
8 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipped cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups blueberries (or any other berry you prefer)
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch
Cut butter into flour, sugar and nuts until crumbly (a food processor works great)
Press into a 9×15 baking pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool before adding the filling
While the crust is baking, mix sugar, water, and blueberries in a saucepan and cook to a simmer.
Mix the cornstarch with 2-3 Tablespoons of water before adding to blueberry sauce
Stir and cook a couple minutes longer, until it begins to thicken (will thicken more as it cools)
Stir in almond extract and remove from heat
Next make the filling by mixing cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy
Fold in whipped cream
Layer on cooled crust
Add cooled topping to torte and store in fridge or freezer
Don’t let the three steps to this dessert scare you away. It’s worth the time and dishes:) One 9×13 pan can served at least 20 people as it’s so rich.
The original recipe called for coolwhip but I just can’t use that stuff anymore. You can also substitute two cans of pie filling for the topping (must admit I like that cherry pie filling!) but we always had gallons of Alaskan blueberries in the freezer- and nothing compares to arctic berries!