The other night my daughter asked to make something special for dessert. She didn’t have any clear ideas—she just wanted to cook.
“Well,” I said, “there’s grape filling in the fridge.... Oh, I have an idea! Watch this.” And then we proceeded to beat cream cheese and whip cream and thicken grapes and toast graham crackers.
I instructed her to get the wine glasses from the cupboard and showed her how to fill them—a blob of cream cheese, a plop of grape sauce, a sprinkling of crackers—repeating the layers until everything was used up.
It ended up looking like a put-together dessert rather than the hodge-podge of ingredients that it was. It tasted right classy, too—rich, fruity, and cool.
This looks a lot more complex than it actually is. I was just winging it—no recipe and no measurements, using up what I had on hand.
No grape filling? Sub in another pie filling such as sour cherry, blueberry, rhubarb and strawberry, apricot, etc.
For the grape filling:
2 cups of grape sauce, skins in, seeds removed
1-2 tablespoons Therm-Flo or cornstarch
½ cup sugar
Combine everything and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and chill.
For the cream cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
Whip the cream. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla. Fold in the whipped cream.
For the graham cracker crumbs:
1 ½ packages graham crackers, ground into crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are toasty and a couple shades darker. Immediately remove from the skillet so they don’t burn.
Get out 6 to 8 of your fanciest goblets. Put a spoonful of cream cheese mixture in each, then a spoonful of grape sauce, and then a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs. Repeat the process until all the components are used up or the glasses are full, whichever comes first.
This same time, years previous: chocolate yogurt cake, roasted tomato sauce, pasta with sauteed peppers and onions