Last summer my husband and I were talking and he casually mentioned that the hillside at his dad's cabin, a mere 30 minutes from our apartment, was covered in raspberry bushes. I don't know what was worse-that he waited 5 years to tell me or that I never noticed that they were there.
That afternoon I hightailed it to the raspberry haven, dressed in long sleeves (those raspberry bushes are thorny!), and picked my heart out. In the days that followed, we ate raspberries-with pork chops, in salads, bars and spoonbread.
Here are my favorite raspberry recipes so you can have your own raspberry fest. Even if you are just picking the raspberries up at the store, these dishes will be equally delicious. (Love other berries too? Try these summery recipes for strawberries and blueberries.)
Raspberry Bars (see recipe below) - Tart raspberry filling is swirled into a low-fat cream filling in these beautiful bars. They're a festive treat for a summer picnic or party.
Raspberry-Glazed Pork Chops with Pickled Onions - The thick flavorful raspberry sauce, rich pork chops and pickled onions all come together in an explosion of flavors and textures.
Raspberry Spoonbread - My favorite recipe from the latest issue of EatingWell, this maple-sweetened cornmeal cake, studded with raspberries, comes together in just 30 minutes.
Couscous & Fruit Salad - Try this fruit-and-nut-studded couscous salad alongside grilled salmon or chicken for supper or on its own for a fresh lunchbox treat.
3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour (see Tip, below)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water
3 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons nonfat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1. To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Place flour, pecans, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a food processor; process until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Add ice water and vanilla and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Transfer to the prepared pan. Press evenly and firmly into the pan to form a bottom crust.
3. Bake the crust until it looks set, but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
4. To prepare raspberry filling: Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you prepare the rest of the filling.
5. Reserve 16 raspberries. Puree the remaining raspberries in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until bubbling. Stir in the gelatin mixture and cook, stirring, until the gelatin is melted, about 1 minute.
6. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Pour the raspberry mixture into a medium bowl and set it in the bowl of ice water. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of loose jam and is beginning to set around the edges, about 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, milk and confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
8. Spread the thickened raspberry filling evenly over the crust. Dollop the cream cheese mixture over the filling. Draw the tip of a sharp knife or skewer through the two fillings to create a swirled effect. Nestle the reserved berries into the filling, evenly spacing them so each bar will be topped with a berry when cut. Refrigerate until the bars are completely set, about 3 hours. Cut into 16 bars, one raspberry per bar.
Makes 16 bars.
Per bar: 101 calories; 5 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 94 mg sodium; 64 mg potassium.
TIP: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat. Find it in the baking section of the supermarket or online at bobsredmill.com and kingarthurflour.com.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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