A few weeks ago my cousin Gerd was here from Germany. He had just finished fulfilling a life-long dream of traveling through a few U.S. states on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He chose to go to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone; I'm not sure why he chose Mount Rushmore of all places, but he really enjoyed himself and got a good tan in the process. Because he was here I thought it would be a good idea to have a mini Drawe reunion, invite my aunts and uncle and step-mom over, and have an authentic German delicacy - strawberry torte or erdbeere torte.
The recipe comes from my Grandma Drawe who taught it to my mom before I was born and then my mom taught it to me when I was a young married wife. I have been impressing guests with this simple recipe ever since.
The key to the recipe is to have the right pan. It is like a giant tart pan with an inverted bottom. This is necessary so that when you pop it over onto the serving dish you can then fill the "torte canyon" with the fruit. You can find these pans at German delicatessens or other kitchen stores. Here is the recipe:
2 pkgs. strawberry Danish Dessert (prepare these according to package directions while the cake is cooling)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
Beat the above three ingredients with an electric mixer.
Add and mix in
2 cups white flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. almond flavoring
grated lemon rind (optional)
Spray the pan with Pam then dust lightly with flour. Fold the batter (which will be quite stiff) into the pan and, with a butter knife, spread it around the pan and mold it into the edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes or until cake is slightly browned. Immediately invert the pan onto the serving dish and allow to cool. Cover the bottom of the cake with whole strawberries and then cover with prepared and slightly cooled strawberry Danish Dessert gelatin. Chill for four hours and serve with whipped cream. Bananas, kiwi, blueberries, and raspberries can also be used for the topping.
Gerd and I got to know each other in 1995 when he and his mother Tante Trude visited Utah. Gerd attended some of my Weber State classes with me just for fun. Surprisingly, his favorite was my German class.
Pat, Aunt Ruth, Gerd, and Aunt Lucie
Uncle Harold, Aunt Ruth, Gerd, and Aunt Lucie