2nd Prize, Illinois State Fair, 2016

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance


Illinois State Fair

August 12, 2016

Raspberry sauce 2nd place Illinois State Fair

(Image by Peter Engler)

Second Prize:

Grandmother’s Raspberry Sauce

Jone Schumacher, Chapin, Illinois

My Grandmother Nickel (1898 – 1995) was a very inventive “home chef’ and gardener. Even thought my grandparents lived in town, she had a very large lot reserved for her grand garden. As a child, I recall seeing her adorned in her large straw hat, an apron over her house-dress and her basket in hand walking toward her garden. I remember seeing her return from the garden with her basket full and even some harvested fruit and vegetables being carried in her apron. My aunts tell me Grandmother would offer them the option of gardening or working in the house, and it was quite agreeable to all that they would choose the household chores and Grandmother would enjoy her quiet time in her garden. Besides her garden, Grandmother’s joy was her large in-town raspberry patch. She would bake delicious raspberry pies and cobblers, but most popular was her sweet raspberry sauce. She would crush the very ripe berries, strain out the seeds and mix the resulting precious raspberry pulp with equal amounts of granulated sugar. Being very frugal after experiencing the Great Depression, Grandmother did not purchase special jars to store her sauce in, but rather reused various sizes of clean empty glass salad dressing bottles that she saved for this purpose. One of my most precious memories of Grandmother in her later years, is the sight of her slowly walking up to my front door carrying a brown bag twisted at the top containing a highly valued dressing jar of raspberry sauce. This was her special very appreciated contribution to my children’s birthday celebrations. Years prior, Grandmother was one of the first in her day to own an electric freezer and she froze her raspberry sauce to have ready to share and to serve to her family and other privileged guests. I still marvel about how elegantly my grandmother set her table. Even when my siblings and I were served our even meal at Grandmother’s, she always had a freshly washed and ironed table cloth on her table. One of our very favorite deserts was this delicious sweet raspberry sauce swirling down over a dip of vanilla ice cream nestled in a meringue shell. Grandmother’s raspberry sauce recipe was never really written down formally on a recipe card as far as I know, but was just known and passed down through the generations as a treasured “family Secret.”

Although growing raspberries was my grandmother’s joy, my husband has the same love of gardening and berry growing and is now tending around 250 raspberry bushes as well as 2,000 blueberry and 200 blackberry bushes on our farm. I would have loved for my grandmother to have seen his berry patches and I would have cherished picking berries with her, all dressed up with her straw hat and apron. My husband patiently picks the berries and helps make Grandmother’s sauce, and we freeze various amounts in glass jelly jars. I have created several recipes featuring the raspberry sauce and share the “family secret sauce” as it is just too special not to share. My family’s favorite way to enjoy this sauce is on ice cream served in a chocolate tart-shaped cake. My grandchildren call them “volcanoes” as they think the raspberry sauce resembles red lava flowing over their ice cream. Recently, I have introduced my grandchildren to Grandmother’s meringue shells and they love this “new” old -time sugary treat as well. I am pleased to share all three recipes. Pictured is my grandmother at her own birthday party in front of her birthday cake which I made and decorated with a variety of her favorite {{icing” fruits. I have so many memories of my grandmother and her delicious food and I truly enjoy making these yummy foods and creating great memories for my grandchildren. I realize someday my recipes will be heirloom and I hope they will be used and-cherished as t do my grandmother’s.

Second Prize:

Grandmother’s Raspberry Sauce

Jone Schumacher, Chapin, Illinois

3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries

1 cup granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS: Crush raspberries in blender and then strain to remove seeds. Stir together the sugar with the raspberries. (Since barries may vary in amount, always measure and mix equal parts of the strained berry pulp with equal parts of sugar.) This amount should yield around 1 2/3 cups sweetened sauce.

Refrigerate until serving. Freeze in glass jars.



3 egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar, preferably extra fine


Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with plain ungreased brown paper. Draw nine 3 inch circles. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites on low speed of mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, salt and then the vanilla. Continue beating until the egg whites begin to hold their shape and become opaque. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar in a slow stream. Beat until the whites thicken and form stiff peaks and sugar is dissolved; do not over beat. Spread approximate 1/3 cup meringue; shape with spoon to make shells, shallow in the center with higher edges around the center.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 1 hour. For crisper meringue shellsl turn off heat and let cool and dry with door closed for about one hour. Store in tightly sealed container until serving.




Measure into large mixing bowl and mix until blended:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Measure into a medium sauce pan:

1/2 cup salted butter

1/2 cup butter shortening

3 tablespoons cocoa

3 tablespoons special dark cocoa

1 cup double chocolate low fat milk

Bring fat mixture to boil, blend into flour-sugar mixture. Blend in:

2 extra large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour into prepared individual tart pans and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes. Invert pans onto wire racks, remove pans and use another wire rack to turn right-side-up. Allow to cool.


2 tablespoons melted salted butter

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

3 tablespoons special dark cocoa

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 to 2/3 cup double chocolate milk

Blend until smooth and to a “drizzle thick consistency.”  Using a pastry brushl cover top center and sides of tarts with glaze; allow to dry.

Yield: 24 to 26 tarts. Freeze in tightly sealed plastic containers if desired.

SERVE tarts or meringue shells with a dip of ice cream and top with generous amount of the raspberry sauce.