Catholic Recipe: Star-Studded Chiffon Pie
The star, lighting the darkness of the heavens at night, is a symbol of divine guidance or favor. Our Blessed Lady is represented by twelve stars. One large single star is a symbol for her under the title Star of the Sea. A single star is used also for St. Dominic and St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Seven stars are used on St. Hugh's and St. John Nepomuk's feastdays, nine on St. Donald's day.
The star is used as a symbol for St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Peter Alcantara, St. Humbert of Moralles, St. Fidelis, St. Bruno, and St. Athanasia, who is shown in art weaving cloth with a star above her.
Gummed stars in gold, silver, and many other colors come in different sizes from party or craft stores. These are suitable for pasting on a cake, tablecloths, place-mats and napkins to carry out the theme of a star when it is the symbol of a child's patron or patroness; the children can help with this part of the decoration.
A nameday star pie is one of those feathery-light, delicately flavored desserts made of unflavored gelatine and other pantry staples. To make this easy but impressive chiffon pie, you will need:
Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatine in 1/4 cup of cold water. Sprinkle on the water to soften. Beat 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar, add 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over hot water until the mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Add softened gelatine, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 cup of coconut. Cool. Beat 4 egg whites until stiff, gradually beating in another 1/4 cup of sugar. Fold into the gelatine mixture. Turn into a baked pastry shell or cookie crust and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of coconut. Chill until firm.
Top the pie with a garnish of stars. (See Chocolate Symbols for Cake Decorations for making hearts or stars of melted chocolate.) Cut the stars with a star cookie-cutter from slices of canned cranberry jelly or other fruit jelly. The crust may be lined with crushed jelly if desired. This dessert can be made in a star-shaped mold or in the Star of David mold (see baking catalogs, such as Maid of Scandanavia http://www.sweetc.com/maid.htm). We have used many gelatine desserts because they lend themselves to molding in many shapes to signify the symbols of various saints.Recipe Source: My Nameday — Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1962