Catholic Cook Ann Schierer, With a Recipe for Peach Kuchen

Ann Schierer’s family cooking has gained her praise from her family, friends and parishioners

Ann Schierer with her children and grandchildren.
Ann Schierer with her children and grandchildren. (photo: Ann Schierer)

Ann Schierer was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in adjacent College Park, Maryland. Now a resident in Northern Virginia, for many years she has led CCD and Bible study classes at her local parish; she also attends the Institute of Catholic Culture webinars, helps take care of the sick, and is an anchoress for a bishop’s Seven Sisters Apostolate.

She attributes her lifelong faith to growing up in a Catholic household.

“Both of my parents were cradle Catholics, and our Catholic faith was very much a part of our everyday life,” she said. “We always went to Mass as a family every Sunday and often saw aunts and uncles and cousins at Mass. … My Mom went to Mass every Thursday with one of her sisters-in-law before they went out to breakfast and grocery shopping. My dad was a Knight of Columbus. We always prayed before meals and before bed. … Living Catholic was an everyday way of life for me.”

“My mom taught me to pray to St. Jude when I thought the situation was impossible,” she said. “My dad taught me to pray the ‘Angel of God’ to my Guardian Angel to help me and guide me. We always celebrated feast days by attending Mass and having a special dessert. Everyone gave up something for Lent every year. We went to daily Masses during Lent when we could, we never ate meat on Fridays, and every room in our home had a crucifix. … I did attend a Catholic high school and that allowed me to attend weekday Masses often and to make visits to Jesus in the tabernacle.” 

But there is another aspect of Ann Schierer’s life that has gained her praise from her family, friends and parishioners: her cooking.

“I was blessed by God to come from a family of women who were excellent cooks and loved cooking,” she said. “Cooking is a creative outlet and a way to make people happy. I grew up going to extended family’s homes for dinner on many Sundays and I was always allowed and encouraged to help out with the meal preparations. Some of my best memories are helping in the small kitchens of my mom, various aunts and cousins. It was a time of sharing tricks of cooking, fixing mistakes, trying new things, and laughing and tasting and talking. My mom was a fabulous cook and taught me to love cooking as she did at a very early age.” 

Ann listed all the relatives who taught her traditional family meals like Maryland stuffed ham for Easter, old-fashioned raisin Christmas cake, crab cakes and soft-shelled crabs, pound cakes and expertly frosted cakes. And, she added, “My mom also taught me how to make pickles, from extra homegrown cucumbers, and various jams. She used wines and spirits in her cooking and so I learned to do that too. … She loved experimenting and trying new recipes.”

Today, Ann Schierer grows several vegetables in her small garden and uses them to make preserves, jams and jellies. She continues to cook for family and friends, noting that having meals together bonds people together. She loves to be creative and try new recipes. As she said, “Cooking for me was just a part of my everyday life.”

Peach Kuchen

“A beloved recipe from my mom,” she said.

Serves 10 to 16

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups sliced fresh peaches, blueberries or cherries
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar

Mix 1 1/4 cups of the flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Cut in butter until pieces are about the size of peas. Stir in 2 tbsp sour cream. Press mixture in a pan. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Spread peaches on baked crust. Mix remaining flour, salt, sour cream, egg yolks and sugar. Pour over peaches. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

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