Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feast Day: St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

On Tuesday, we read and discussed about an American saint named St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852). Her feast day was Tuesday the 18th, but we didn't get around to cooking a treat for her until today (long story short, we needed walnuts and the only ones we had were still in their shells and I couldn't unearth the nutcracker from wherever dh put it before/after our move!).

St. Rose was an amazing woman, born in Grenoble, France in 1769, she came to the United States in order to work with the Native Americans and others in the Mississippi River valley region (primarily around Missouri). At first frustrated by her attempts to work closely with the Indians, she did great work up and down the Mississippi -- from St. Charles, MO to Opelousas, LA.

She was in her 70s before she finally got the chance to evangelize the Native Americans in Sugar Creek, KS. Although by this time she old and frail, she spent long hours nursing the sick and many more hours in prayer. The Potawatatomi called her "Woman who prays always" in honor of her extensive periods of time spent kneeling before the blessed sacrament.

St. Rose died at the age of 83 and when her remains were moved three years later (for re-interment in a new cemetery), her body was found to be incorrupt. Pope John Paul 2 canonized this self-less woman on July 3, 1988.

In honor of her birthplace, we searched the 'net for a recipe from Grenoble and found this absolutely amazing Grenoble Tart (seems Grenoble is famous for its walnuts!). Here's our version:
St. Rose's Grenoble Tart

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups raw, shelled walnut halves

Caramel Sauce:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbls heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream crust ingredients until a ball forms. Press dough into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie-pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges turn light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Fill browned tart shell with walnuts.
Prepare Caramel Sauce by combining brown sugar, 1/4 c butter and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan and bring to a rapid boil over medium heat without stirring. Let boil for one minute without stirring. Remove from heat; whisk in 2 tbls heavy cream.
Pour hot Caramel Sauce over walnuts and bake 10 minutes or until bubbly. Cool thoroughly. Serve with dollop of good vanilla ice cream.

Tip: Tart can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.
This is WAY better than Pecan Pie (and I love Pecan Pie!).

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