Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's Raspberry Time!

Our raspberry patch on the farm is on strong right now. I suit up in long pants and a long sleeve shirt every third day or so to walk among the bramble and pick ripe berries.

My dog, Harvey, usually likes to stop by for visits while I'm picking- he loves to eat fresh raspberries! He has figured out that the red ones are the ripe ones and will walk along and snack on them right off the cane... 

when he's not getting them from me, that is! 
Raspberries are, of course, delicious eaten plan or on cereal or with ice cream. I've also been trying to incorporate them into some cooking. One evening I made a delicious salad inspired by THIS ONE from Cooking Light Magazine.  It's called "Grilled Balsamic Chicken Chicken Salad with Spiced Pecans." I changed the recipe by marinating the chicken breasts in raspberry vinaigrette and some fresh berries, then grilling them. I served it on a bed of fresh greens from our garden, rather than arugula. I did use the spiced pecans the recipe called for. I also added fresh raspberries and feta crumbles to the finished salad. We just used more raspberry vinaigrette rather than mixing up the dressing that the recipe called for, too. End result was really good! Jeff and I both really liked it. 

Raspberries are delicious showcased in baked goods, too. Carol made a raspberry jello pie in a graham cracker crust that we all enjoyed. I made lemon pound cake and threw some berries in the batter before baking. I also made a traditional raspberry pie...

 The recipe is from Jenna Weber, who used to host a lovely blog called Eat, Live, Run. I found her recipe for raspberry pie on the PBS website (via Pinterest). It was the perfect recipe and a fitting showcase for raspberries! Here's a link to the recipe I used: FRESH RASPBERRY PIE.
 The crust was exactly how a pie crust should be. If you're a pie baker, you likely have a preference as to the ratio of butter to shortening-- this one was all shortening, but I used butter flavored shortening, which seemed like a nice compromise. I loved how this crust turned out! Might become my new go-to crust.
The filling recipe was great, too. Fairly simple- just berries, sugar, lemon juice, and a bit of cornstarch to thicken. Again, the end result was lovely. I was happy that the filling wasn't runny but the sugar and cornstarch didn't overpower the raspberry flavor. Definitely a winner. I have been trying to practice my pie baking over the last few years and I feel like this one was a home run, so I'm happy! Credit the good recipe from Jenna!

Plus, the berries were picked the morning I made the pie. From on the plant to in the pie in only a few hours. Can't beat the freshness and use of local ingredients here on the farm! Delish!

What are your favorite ways to eat, cook, or bake with raspberries? Let me know if there's something I should try!

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