Loading

Top Stories

FROM the FARM: Cream cake a favorite recipe of Pope John Paul II

FROM the FARM: Cream cake a favorite recipe of Pope John Paul II

On Sunday, two beloved popes from our modern era, John Paul II and John XXIII, will be canonized at the Vatican by Pope Francis.

John Paul II is the first pope of my recollection as a youth. And since he was Polish, it was an extra special honor cherished by my family. He was our pope from Oct. 16, 1978 until April 2, 2005, when he passed away 46 days short of his 85th birthday.

He was the second longest-serving pope in history, and his Polish heritage made him the first non-Italian since Pope Adrian VI, who died in 1523.

John XXIII was Pope from Oct. 28, 1958 until his death at age 81 June 3, 1963.

Even though I was only 9-years-old at the time when Pope John Paul II came to Chicago for two days in October 1979, I still recall how excited my family members were about the event. Everyone from my aunts and uncles who lived in the Polish neighborhoods around Midway Airport to my aunts and uncles at our farm were excited. My Auntie Lilly, who lived at the farm with Grandma Potempa, even took photographs of the television screen in the living room to capture images of the live coverage of the Chicago NBC news coverage, all of which she carefully preserved in a scrapbook. I've shared one of her photographs published here with today's column.

While previously known as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, he had been to Chicago before, in 1976, to visit a Northwest Side church while he was still "a little-known Polish cardinal." His 1979 Chicago visit, as John Paul II, earned him a place in history and the hearts of so many when he became the first Polish pope in history, the 264th successor to the Apostle Peter and leader to the world's 700 million Roman Catholics). His 1979 visit was also his distinction as only the second pope to visit the United States, and the first to come to Chicago.

He held mass for thousands who gathered in Chicago's Grant Park and also attended a special event at Holy Name Cathedral with Chicago's Cardinal John Cody that featured the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Much attention has been given over the years to Pope John Paul II's favorite dessert, a fluffy, sweet cream filled coffeecake pastry called Kremowka (pronounced krem-OOV-ka).

There are a number of versions of it that have floated around throughout the years. I've had a copy of a version of the recipe in my file at the farm for some time and decided this is the perfect week to share it with readers.

"Kremowka" aka Fluffy Cream-Filled Coffeecake

Pastry:

8 ounces wheat flour

8 ounces margarine

3 tablespoons sour cream

A pinch of salt

Filling:

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups cold milk (divided into 1/2 cup and 1-1/2 cups)

7 ounces butter, softened

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar (for filling)

Confectioners' sugar (for dusting top of cake)

Directions: To make pastry (a frozen prepared puff pastry can also be subbed in a pinch), combine all ingredients and mix by cutting with a knife. Knead dough and then chill in refrigerator for 24 hours. Once chilled, divide the dough into 2 parts and roll out on a floured surface into a rectangle shape slightly smaller than the baking sheet or jelly roll pan that will be used. Fold corners of pastry inward, like the shape of the flaps of an envelope and roll dough once more before baking for 10 to 15 minutes on baking sheet in oven preheated to 450 degrees. Pastry dough should bubble up from air pockets. Use a fork to release air for even baking. Remove and set aside to cool. To make filling, beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and creamy. Dissolve cornstarch and vanilla into 1/2 cup of cold milk; stir into egg yolk mixture and mix well. Bring the remaining 1-1/2 cups of milk to a boil; while boiling, stir in yolk/milk/cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly, cooking until a thick and creamy pudding-like consistency forms. Set aside to cool. Beat softened butter with confectioners' sugar until fluffy; gradually add the cold pudding mixture a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Toward the end, beat in the lemon juice. Spread the entire filling on one half of the baked dough. Cover with the other piece of dough and press down lightly (like a sandwich). Refrigerate at least one hour or until the filling is set. Carefully cut into squares with a sharp knife, taking care that the filling does not squish out the sides. Dust top of cake with confectioners' sugar. Makes 12 slices.

7 hours ago

Latest Local Updates

Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt

Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Unidentified material that washed ashore in southwestern Australia and is being examined for any link to the lost M…

1 hour ago

Supporters oppose T.F. South High band director transfer

LANSING | A large crowd showed its support Tuesday night for Mike Madonia, Thornton Fractional South High School's music teacher and band dire…

8 hours ago

IHSA: H-F investigation closed, Smith cleared to coach in state

Ousted Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball coach Tony Smith has been cleared to resume coaching "anywhere," the Illinois High School Associati…

8 hours ago

Police: Lake Co. pharmacies received fake bomb threats

HOBART | At least four Lake County pharmacies received prank bomb threats Tuesday night, Hobart police said. 

9 hours ago

Winfield council gives initial OK to list of duties, job requirements for town marshal

WINFIELD | Plans edged forward Tuesday to hire the town's first police official. 

10 hours ago

Weekly Ads

Recent Stories

Community mourns slain woman

Community mourns slain woman

GRIFFITH | A day after a woman was shot to death by her estranged husband in the parking lot of St. Mary's School, the community called for an…

10 hours ago Photos

Photos

E.C. council to consider South Shore contribution

EAST CHICAGO | East Chicago officials are preparing to discuss whether the city will contribute money to expand the South Shore commuter rail line.

11 hours ago

Bishop Noll hands Hanover Central first baseball loss in extra innings

Bishop Noll hands Hanover Central first baseball loss in extra innings

CEDAR LAKE | Cesar Montemayor was penciled in this season as a platooning third baseman, who could eat up some middle innings on the mound if …

12 hours ago Photos

Photos

Only eyewitness in double homicide stands by her testimony

CROWN POINT | The sole eyewitness to the murders of two Gary men Jan. 14, 2013, testified for more than four hours Tuesday in the second day o…

12 hours ago

LaPorte police review fatal shooting of dog

LAPORTE | Police are reviewing the fatal shooting of a dog that occurred in front of four people Sunday, almost in the line of the officer's f…

12 hours ago

Libertarian Party official objects to Michigan City police use of military vehicle

Libertarian Party official objects to Michigan City police use of military vehicle

MICHIGAN CITY | More than 700 signatures have been gathered on an online petition that demands Michigan City give back a bullet- and bomb-proo…

12 hours ago

Toll Road traffic stop leads to drug arrests

Toll Road traffic stop leads to drug arrests

PORTAGE | Two men were arrested Monday afternoon after a traffic stop led to the discovery of a large stash of marijuana in a car.

12 hours ago Photos

Photos

Valpo joining relief effort for Valparaiso, Chile, fire

Valpo joining relief effort for Valparaiso, Chile, fire

VALPARAISO | Valparaiso, Ind., is reaching out to help its namesake city Valparaiso, Chile, recover from a devastating fire that killed 15 peo…

12 hours ago Photos

Photos

Dark Lord Day more than a once-a-year brew release party

MUNSTER | The Dark Lord cometh. Beer geeks of the world unite!

12 hours ago

Study: Thousands face hunger issues in NWI

A national analysis of hunger issues shows nearly 16 percent of the population in Lake and Porter counties faces food insecurity.

13 hours ago