Raspberry Torte

I can remember my grandma making this raspberry torte from little on. She actually had raspberry bushes along one end of her garden so there was always an abundant supply. This dessert is very decadent and the tartness of the raspberries helps to offset the rich, sweetness of the creamy layers. This is also one of grandma's recipes that didn't have strict measurements. You'll see why as you start to make it.

I also think you could use different fruit besides raspberries with this torte, but I would stick to fruits that aren't real juicy and that are a little on the tart side. Things like strawberries, blueberries, or maybe blackberries would be good. There is a lot of variety that you can experiment with.

-Vanilla Wafers (about 1/2 a box)
-1/3 cup butter
-1 egg
-1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
-1/2 to 1 full pint of raspberries, washed-this is really your preference; for me it depends on what I have on hand
-1 capful vanilla, yes, grandma just used the top cap off the vanilla bottle (it was the small bottle-approximately 1 teaspoon)
-1/2 pint whipping cream
-1/3 cup sugar

Put your vanilla wafers in a large bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Layer the bottom of a round cake pan with about a 1/4 inch layer of the crumbs. In a bowl, combine butter, egg, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Spread this on top of the vanilla wafers. It works best if you take little spoonfuls and drop them all over the wafers and then connect the spoonfuls. If you dump it on in one lump, it is virtually impossible to spread, and the cream mixture mixes with the wafer crumbs. Next, place a single layer of berries on top of the cream layer. I try to fit them in fairly snug next to each other to get the most raspberries in. In another bowl, combine the vanilla, whipping cream and sugar until it is firm. Layer this on top of the raspberries. The raspberries are more cooperative than the vanilla wafers, but it still helps to use smaller spoonfuls and connect them, rather than dumping one big glob in the center and trying to spread it out. Lastly, sprinkle more of the vanilla wafers on top and refrigerate until serving. Raspberry Torte is one of those desserts that does need to be kept in the refrigerator, because of the uncooked egg.

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