Monday, February 28, 2011


I have been thinking about how baking and cooking may have changed lately. Actually, I have recalled that in the 70's and 80's we made a lot of foods using ideas from Duncan Hines, Jello, Dream Whip, Campbell Soups and that type of item. Casseroles and large desserts were our delight!   I still make these things but I do think we would agree that there is a greater emphasis now to learn to make your own sauces and to bake from stratch. What do you think? 

 This Lemon Pretzel Torte would be be a type of thing one would bring to a Potluck Dinner in the 1980's. 

During the 1980's I received this recipe from a lady who lived in Burlington, Iowa and inspired me in so many ways!  I also recall that I had received a set of antique luncheon plates from her during those years when she moved into a Senior Townhome.   These dishes became the beginning point for me to collect mix matched pieces and cups and saucers.

I learned so much from Frances who was a frugal woman!  She was very creative and knew how to stretch a dollar! 

Here is the recipe for Frances Vollmer's Lemon Pretzel Torte:
You will need 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 stick of butter softened, 1 - 3 1/4 oz package of lemon pie filling mix (NOT instant), 2 3 oz packages of Dream Whip Topping Mix (yes they still have it at the grocery), 1 8oz package softened cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar. There are 3 levels to this dessert, it is easy to do and will feed 12 to 14 people.  You will be using a 9 x 13 pyrex dish for the dessert.

For the bottom level of the dessert:  Crush pretzels into small bite size pieces like nuts.  Cream the butter and the sugar.  Add the pretzels pieces and mix together.  Using your hands to form a ball, press this mixture into the 9 x 13 pyrex pan.  Refrigerate until chilled.

Go ahead now and make the lemon pie filling as directed on the package and refrigerate in a separate bowl until cool but not yet firm.

The Second level of the dessert is this: prepare the 2 whipped topping envelopes  according to directions. Then beat this into the cream cheese and powdered sugar till well blended.  Spread this over the bottom crust in the pyrex dish and put back in refrigerator.

Now for the top level:  Spread the lemon pudding mix on the top and return again to refrigerator.


  1. Bernideen, your table is lovely! The cake in the center looks very pretty and a delight to the eyes! I have almost always made things from scratch and I think it always tastes better that way. A lot more work, to be sure, but worth it.
    The lemon torte looks yummy as well. Thanks for sharing your fab recipes.


  2. Yummmmm! Thanks for letting me know I can still find Dream Whip in grocery stores.

  3. I remember desserts like this and they are great for a crowd or a potluck! I remember in my working years, desserts like these were always brought to office potlucks!

  4. Hi Bernideen,
    I absolutely love all your china. And this desert sounds really interesting. Are your pretzels salty? I am not sure if they are the same like here.
    Greetings, Johanna

  5. Oh my this does look yummy! I love lemon. I remember a recipe like this one it was very popular in the 70 and 80 and its still yummy good!
    Your china is lovely and mix and matching is a fun thing to do..your table cloth is beautiful Bernideen.
    Have a sweet and hugs, Elizabeth

  6. Bernideen...I love lemon!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe...I am going to give it a try...feeling Spring like in my heart today!! I love your mix-matched dishes...roses are my favorite.

    Blessings to you today!

  7. What a lovely friend to give you your starer set.Your post is lovely.Oh yes yum what a great lemon torte.I was a busy mom in the 80s with 4 daughters and yes, thats how I cooked too.

  8. Love all your beautiful photography! What a dear friend you have. The lemon pretzel dessert sounds like something very similar to what I make, but with cherry filling. It's yummy... and in my cookbook. I can practically taste the tart lemon with the salty pretzel base though. That sounds great! And.... I've made the pretzel/cream filling/cherry topping in individual miniature tart pans because it doesn't need baking. Very easy to do, and perfect for the tea tray! Thanks for sharing Bernideen!

  9. i love mix and match china. lovely table and with dessert. too! love lemon anything!!! happy tea day.

  10. luvly mix n matching!
    and the freshness of that Yellow! WoW! yummy...

  11. Hi Bernideen,
    Your dishes are so pretty with that delicate design. I love the scalloped edge and the shape of the tea cup. What a treasure to have from your mentor.

    The recipe looks delicous. I've made a similar type of dessert for years, except the crust is a walnut shortbread and the filling is chocolate. I'll be sure to try yours. Yum!
    Love, Carol B.

  12. I agree with your thoughts on making things from scratch these days, going back to basics. Also, I think for me it's all the cooking shows on today, showing how easy it is to do from scratch as well as healthier. All that being said, this recipe sounds too delish to pass up! LOL!


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