Saturday, May 7, 2011

For Mother's Day: Ladyfingers Cheesecake

Mother's Day is bittersweet for those of us who have lost our mothers.  It's been over nine years since I was able to wish my mom a "Happy Mother's Day" and I feel her loss every day, as do my siblings and her grandchildren.  There are still those moments when I want to pick up the phone to say "Guess what happened today...," or "I'm going to stop over later."  Then reality hits and I know, I just can't.  It still catches me.  It's a void that can never be filled.

My heart goes out to friends and relatives who've lost their moms as well, especially my Cella cousins.  But we have lovely memories to comfort us, and we carry on our mothers' legacies in the ways we live and relate to each other every day.  And they are still with us, in many ways. How many times have we heard their "momisms" ring in our ears, when we hear ourselves saying things that seem to come straight from our mothers' mouths! 

My Mom, Virginia McGeehan O'Farrell

So this Mother's Day, I celebrate mothers past and present.  I love watching my daughter Katie as she, so lovingly and tenderly, raises her two little boys.  She carries on the traditions of a long line of strong Irish women who loved family more than anything, and I am proud to witness it. From before my grandmother Loretta (Oma) Sheils McGeehan, to my mother Virginia McGeehan O'Farrell, to me and my siblings, to our children and grandchildren, the legacy continues.

Mother's Day is tomorrow.  And as a baker, I have been thinking of special desserts for special mothers.  My own mother loved ladyfingers.  I can't even remember what she used them for, or if they were just a sweet indulgence on their own once in a while.  But she loved them for reasons I don't know -- perhaps her mother used to make them, or had them in their home for special occasions.  Most people think of Tiramisu or Charlotte Russe when considering recipes in which ladyfingers play a starring role.  In researching desserts for Mother's Day, I came upon this one from Taste of Home for Ladyfingers Cheesecake.  It's not baked.  A springform pan is lined with split ladyfingers, then filled with a combination of a cream cheese/whipped cream mixture layered with ladyfingers and strawberries.  It chills overnight in the fridge. Perfectly elegant for Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day, my friends!


4-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons plus 2 cups sugar, divided
3 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream

•In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cover;
refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, arrange 25 split
ladyfingers around the edges of a lightly greased 10-in. springform
pan. Place 25 more on the bottom; set aside.

•In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.
In another large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Gradually
fold into cream cheese mixture.

•Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture into prepared pan. Spread with
half of strawberry mixture to within 1 in. of edges. Cover; refrigerate remaining strawberry mixture.

•Arrange remaining ladyfingers over top. Spoon remaining cream cheese
mixture over ladyfingers. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Serve with
reserved strawberry mixture. Yield: 14 servings.

Photo and recipe from:

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful cake, and beautiful post! I've just recently come across your site, and I've really enjoyed visiting it. I'm from Central New York, and actually just passed through Saratoga Springs last week on my way to Vermont!