Our Spring Header Recipes

The garden is in front of the log cabin at the Pella Historical Village in Pella, Iowa.  We're waiting for this kind of bloom, although some early crocus are starting to come up a week after our big snowmelt!

Here are our Spring Header recipes:

This makes a lovely Spring cheesecake.  Any citrus flavor will work though the lime is very good.  You can save part of a lime, slice thin and use the slices with a small amount of whipped cream to garnish the cake. Using a spring form pan will allow you to remove the sides without marring the cake and it will be much easier to slice. Read the recipe all the way through and have everything ready before you start.
Tropical Cheesecake
1 cup shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs separated
2 8 oz pkgs. cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
few drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup whipping cream whipped

Combine coconut, flour, and butter. Press onto bottom of 9-inch spring form pan.
Bake at 360°, 15 minutes. Cool.

If you beat the egg whites first, transfer to a different bowl. Rinse and then put the bowl and beater in the freezer for a few minutes to chill. Then beat the whipping cream in the same bowl you did the egg whites in and put cream in another bowl. Now you can mix the cream cheese to soften it. Since you are going to combine all of this you can keep using the same mixer bowl without washing it.

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. In saucepan, combine remaining water, sugar and egg yolks: cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly*. Add gelatin; stir until dissolved. Gradually add to softened cream cheese, mixing with electric mixer until well blended. Blend in lime juice, rind and food coloring (if using). Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and whipped cream, pour over crust; chill until firm.

*I use a double boiler so I don’t take a chance on scorching it or have to stir every second.

 My husband’s golf buddy offered him pears from their prolific tree to can…John looked at them, they were very small, but after tasting one he brought home several sacks of delicious little pears.  I canned them following the directions in the Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book, and they are great. 
I used a melon baller to core the pears; they also must be peeled like a potato.  But we thought the work was worth the wonderful sweet flavor that you simply don’t get with commercially canned pears.
I didn’t do anything special to pack these small pears, but if you have nice, large ones - to make a fancy pack, place outside pears fat side down with a cherry in the core, then fat side up with cherry on outside of jars, fill center with plain halves, fill with hot syrup and process 5 minutes longer than plain pears (because they haven’t been warmed). 
If you are new to water-bath canning, check these hints:  Water bath equipment and Safe canning methods from the experts at Clemson..
                    Home Canned Pears in Light Syrup
  12  to 14 Pounds Pears (about 13 Cups Per Canner Load ) -- it requires more pounds of fruit for smaller sizes
  1                cup  Sugar
  2 1/3           cups  Water
  2        Tablespoons  Fruit Fresh -- see package directions

Prepare boiling water bath canner, jars and lids.
Peel, halve and core fruit, place in fruit fresh mixture until ready.  Use a stainless steel measuring spoon, 1/2 or 1 teaspoon size, to core fruit (or I used a melon baller successfully).  Fruit fresh requires 2 tbsp per 6 cups of water.
Measure at least 13 cups of fruit; fruit shrinks a lot.    Mix sugar and water for syrup in large open kettle, heat to boiling.
Drain pears.  In kettle of syrup, over medium-low heat, warm pears in syrup until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, pack hot pears, cavity side down and overlapping layers into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar.  Remove air bubbles; adjust ½” head space if necessary, by adding hot syrup.  Wipe rims of jar, seal with prepared lids and rings, place jars in water bath canner. 
Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 20 minutes, keeping water level 1" -2" over jars for entire process.   If cold fancy-packed, process 25 minutes.
Remove jars, set on towels to cool and seal.  Remove rings, wash jars and store.  Pears can also be pressure canned at 5# pressure for 10 minutes.
Any leftover syrup can also be canned and used in jello salads or as you would use pineapple or apple juice.

  "7 Pint Jars"


  1. What a beautiful dessert, and it sounds very refreshing! I think we're all ready for spring on the table as well as outdoors. (Pretty tablecloth!)

    1. Had to hunt to find your comment after it got published. It is a very good dessert and yes, we sure are ready for Spring here in the MidWest.
      I have Rhubarb up, Yeah!

  2. We planted our garden this weekend. Looks like it's going to be well watered in by the end of today too.

    1. With all of the rain Iowa has had ours would have been washed away. I do have rhubarb coming up.


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