Here is my basic recipe for a layered cream cheese torta.
Serves 8 to 12 for cocktail hour
• ¼ pound butter
• 1 pound cream cheese
• ¼ cup sour cream
Place butter in mixing bowl. Using whisk attachment, whip butter for two minutes until smooth. Add cream cheese in large pieces and continue to whip until smooth. Add sour cream and whip until mixture is smooth.
Spray Pyrex bowl that is freezer-safe with Pam. You can layer once or twice with filling—your choice. For fig filling, puree ½ cup fig preserves and add walnuts on top before serving. For hot pepper jelly filling, use ½ cup of pepper jelly between the layers and top with pepper jelly before serving.
Here are some helpful hints to removing the torta intact. Always spray the springform pan or Pyrex bowl with Pam for easier removal. If you have frozen it in a bowl, sit frozen bowl in warm water to loosen torta before turning out on serving dish. This is best done while the torta is still frozen.
To read Regina's story about easy appetizers and cooking (or not cooking) in 19th-century period dress, click here.