wild rasperries copy 2.jpgUntil I moved to the property we live on, I’ve never picked a wild raspberry before. I’ve picked blackberries in different spots along fence lines and other areas, and we also have salmon berries here, but raspberries were only something I’d find in the store or at the fruit stand. With the price of raspberries being what they are, I almost consider them a luxury food item.

I get a kick out of going out into my yard and picking fruit, and because we literally have acres of organic blackberries, I was looking forward to August when I could pick them and use them in different desserts. Imagine my surprise when I went for a walk the other day and came upon bushes of raspberries.

Unlike blackberries that will give you slivers and cuts all over your hands (first hand knowledge), wild raspberries don’t have prickles. They’re easy to pick and if you see them, you know they’re ready when they just fall off their stem. I picked several buckets yesterday, so naturally I’ve been wondering what to do with them.

Turns out there are a lot of different types of raspberry recipes, and although I could have done the traditional raspberry pie, I’m having a houseful of kids this weekend so I wanted to try something different and kid-friendly.

Here’s a few recipes that use fresh raspberries. Give them a try if you have access to raspberries this weekend.

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It’s not quite a pie and it’s not quite a cheesecake: this Raspberry Cream Tart combines everything kids love. With a sugar cookie base and cream cheese, it’s a great dessert served ice cold from the fridge. Photo and recipe from midwestliving.com.

 

Ingredients:
1 16 1/2 – ounce roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 3 – ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh red raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

Directions

Press cookie dough slices into bottom and fluted sides of a greased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Do not prick. (Or, press onto bottom of greased 12-inch pizza pan.) Bake in a 350 degrees oven 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; set aside.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar, the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until combined. Pour cheese mixture over warm crust and spread evenly.

Arrange the raspberries in a single layer on top of cheese mixture. Sprinkle raspberries with 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes more or until or until cheese mixture is set. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Raspberry Blueberry Snow cones

If you don’t give your kids snow cones because you don’t like the amount of sugar in the syrup, you have to try making your own. By making your own syrup you control the amount of sugar you use, and I’ve tried making it with Stevia and it works great.

For extra fun, invest in a snow cone machine, and the Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker is on my list of appliances to add this summer. Photo and recipe from epicurious.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups raspberries (6 ounces)
3 cups blueberries (10 ounces)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8 cups lightly packed shaved ice
Special equipment: ice shaver or snow cone maker

Directions

Coarsely mash 1 1/2 cups raspberries and 2 cups blueberries with sugar and water in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan using a potato masher. Bring to a boil, stirring, then boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until almost smooth, about 1 minute (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing lightly on and then discarding solids. Cool syrup, uncovered, then chill, its surface loosely covered with plastic wrap, until cold, about 1 hour.

For each serving, spoon 3 tablespoons syrup over 1 cup lightly packed shaved ice and top with 1/4 cup of remaining mixed berries. Serve immediately.

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Just for a little extra colour, this mango raspberry snow cone recipe is worth a try. From the foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:
Ice
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 pint raspberries, hulled and sliced
1 lime juiced, plus wedges for garnish

Directions

Fill a food processor or snow cone maker with ice. Process until the ice is very fine, like snow. Add mangoes and raspberries to a blender and pulse to blend. Pile the crushed ice into dessert glasses or dishes and pour the mango raspberry mix over the ice. Drizzle with lime juice. Garnish with lime wedges; serve immediately.

 

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Raspberry sorbet

Sorbet tastes like ice cream but it’s more fruit based. This recipe from Martha Stewart uses fresh raspberries and rose petals to create amazing sorbet. It’s a dessert everyone, from kids to adults, will love.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 1/2 ounces unsprayed rose petals (about 2 1/2 packed cups)
2 1/2 pints fresh raspberries (about 4 1/2 cups)

Directions

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add rose petals. Let steep 20 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve set over a bowl; discard solids. Refrigerate syrup until cold, about 15 minutes.

Puree raspberries and rose syrup in a blender until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve set over a bowl; discard solids. Cover mixture and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

Chill a loaf pan in freezer at least 10 minutes. Freeze and churn raspberry mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, then transfer to pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hardened, at least 2 hours; sorbet can be frozen up to 2 weeks ahead.

If you’ve got raspberry recipes, please share in the comments. Even after I make all of these recipes, I’m still going to have left overs this weekend.

Happy berry picking, and if you need a few kitchen tools to make desserts, here are a few of my favourites.

 

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A great blender will crush ice for snowcones
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How cool is this Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker?
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To get your snow cones perfect, you need an ice cream scoop