Raspberries, A Taste of Summer

- November 22, 2011

Tom Maguire recently wrote about the joys of picking raspberries at the Salman Raspberry Ranch near Mora. The season for raspberry picking has now passed, alas, but if any of you froze your raspberries from the Salman Ranch, you can still savor the flavors of summer in these sweet little berries. (Of course, you can also buy fresh raspberries at your local grocer's.)

Picking raspberries at the Salman Ranch is one of the great pleasures of late summer. As you work your way through rows of plump red berries, placing them in your basket, the sweet scent of raspberries fills the air. After you're done picking, you can relax at the ranch's café with a slice of raspberry pie or a raspberry sundae.

The Salman Ranch store is housed in an old mercantile building of the La Cueva Historic District, and its counters have witnessed merchandising business for 160 years. Here you can pick up raspberry jam, honey, vinegar, raspberry fudge, raspberry peanut butter fudge bars and other homemade items to take home or as gifts.

After picking raspberries, Tom was so inspired that he sent me some raspberry recipes, thinking that I might like them to share them with you. He's right…and here they are, the perfect antidote to too much Thanksgiving turkey. Thank you, Tom!

Raspberry Pie
1 package raspberry Jello-O
2/3 cup boiling water
2 cups ice cubes
1 cup fresh whipped cream
1 cup freshly picked or frozen raspberries
1 graham cracker crust

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, stirring for about three minutes. Add ice cubes and stir until gelatin is thickened, about two to three minutes. Remove any unmelted ice. Blend in whipped dream. Fold in raspberries and chill if necessary until mixture will mound. Spoon into the graham cracker crust. Garnish with more raspberries and serve.

Raspberry Cobbler
Pie Crust
1 cup flour
1/3 cup butter or Crisco
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt. Add shortening. Mix with a pastry cutter or two knives or a fork until the clumps are about the size of an English pea. Gradually add cold water and mix until dough forms a ball. Roll out dough until is 1 ½ inches larger than your pie plate on all sides. Place dough in pie plate and cut any extra off to be used for dumplings in the raspberries.

Filling
2 cups raspberries
¾ cups water
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring raspberries, water and 1 cup sugar to a slow boil. Combine sugar and flour in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Stir into raspberries. Drop pie crust dumplings into raspberries and stir. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour into baking dish and cover with the top pie crust. Brush top with melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serve with ice cream, heavy cream or as is!

Raspberry Crumb Bars
2 cups flour
1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ bag good quality chocolate chips
12 ½ ounces raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt on low speed until well combined. Add butter and mix on medium speed until butter is blended and the mixture is moist and begins to pull together, about three minutes. Stir
in chocolate chips. Reserve 1 ½ cups of this crumb mixture and refrigerate. Firmly press remaining mixture into bottom of an ungreased, 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake in center of oven for 25 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes, then spread the raspberry jam evenly on top. Continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned and jam is bubbling. Cool completely before slicing into bars.

Raspberry Crème Brulee
About 4 dozen raspberries
2 ½ cups heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar

Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place seven to eight raspberries in each of six ramekins.

Bring cream to a simmer. Whisk egg yolks in bowl with 1/3 cup of sugar and pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in hot cream and vanilla extract. Divide mixture among the ramekins, set them in a baking pan and pour boiling water to cover the outside of each ramekin about halfway up the sides.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until set. Remove from pan, cool and chill thoroughly. Before serving, sprinkle two teaspoons brown sugar over each custard. Heat salamander over stove burner until very hot, then hold over sugar for several seconds until the sugar melts. Garnish with additional raspberries.