Archive for: raspberry
Freeze dried fruit is something that I see a lot in stores (Trader Joe’s carries a big variety), mostly because it is being marketed as a healthy snack food. I do not like eating freeze dried fruit on its own, but it can be good in cereal and is a great way to add a lot of flavor to baked goods that you couldn’t otherwise get fresh berries into easily. These Raspberry Coconut Macaroons are a perfect example of a recipe that gets a huge flavor boost from freeze dried fruit where you couldn’t easily use fresh raspberries.
Coconut macaroons are simple cookies, usually made with just coconut, egg whites and sugar. They have a crisp exterior and a moist, chewy interior, a great balance of flavor and texture. They are moist, but they are not “wet” inside and whole berries – such as fresh raspberries – will just add too much moisture to your typical macaroon. Freeze dried fruit has a lot of flavor but doesn’t add any moisture and will not take up much space in each cookie, so you can still have bite sized cookies that deliver a lot of raspberry flavor in a perfect macaroon package. The combination seems very spring-like to me, with the zesty raspberry and sweet coconut. The cookies are light and make a great snack any time of day.
If you can’t find freeze dried raspberries, try checking the healthy snack section of your local market. You might be surprised at what is lurking there! Other freeze dried fruits – mango, strawberry, etc. – will also work in these. In a pinch, you could opt for regular dried fruit instead, but that won’t give you the hint of pink that makes these macaroons look oh-so-tasty.
You can always bake berries into a cobbler or pie, but when you have a basket of ripe berries, sometimes the best thing that you can do with them is show them off in their natural state. This easy to make Mixed Berry and Mascarpone Tart is a perfect dessert for showcasing berries. It starts with a sweet, almond shortbread tart crust that is filled with a creamy mascarpone filling before being topped with fresh berries. The most time consuming part is making the crust – and that only takes a few minutes. The flavor of the crisp, butter almond shortbread with the cool filling and super sweet, in-season berries can’t be beat.
I use mascarpone cheese in this filling because it has a nice creaminess and a slightly sweet flavor that really sets off the berries very well. Cream cheese could be used as a substitute, but it has a stronger flavor and will be a more dominant element when the tart is served. Feel free to adjust the amount of confectioners’ sugar in the filling to your tastes, adding a little bit extra if you prefer your filling to be a little bit sweeter. I stuck with a simple combination of raspberries and blackberries for my fruit here. They are about the same size, which gives the tart a nice look, and their flavors go very well together. Don’t hesitate to mix up the berry combination with blueberries or boysenberries, too! I think that the tart looks stunning with neat rows of fresh berries, but you can actually use all kinds of fruit as a topping.
The tart recipe is for a 10-inch round tart, but you can see from the photos that it can also be made in tart pans of different sizes. Since this is a no-bake filling, you don’t need to worry about baking times and pan sizes too much with this recipe. Press your tart dough into any shape tart pan – round or rectangular, large or small – and bake the crust until it is just golden (the baking times are very similar to the full size tart, as long as the crusts are a similar thickness), then you’re ready to fill. If you do happen to have a rectangular tart pan, I definitely recommend it as it is easy to decorate and serve in this format.
Fresh berries aren’t great ingredients to use when baking a batch of cookies, even when it seems like those flavors would be perfect in a batch of classic chocolate chip dough. This is because fresh fruit adds a lot of moisture to cookie dough and you can end up wit a cookie that is a little more soggy than chewy. This is especially a problem when you want to bake a big batch of cookies, because that fresh fruit means that the cookies aren’t going to keep that fresh-baked texture as well as other cookies will. Freeze dried fruit is the perfect solution because it allows you to add a berry (or other fruit) flavor to a batch of cookies without changing the consistency of the dough.
These Raspberry Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies feature freeze dried raspberries for a bright berry flavor alongside rich dark chocolate chips. Raspberries go well with chocolate in many desserts, and these cookies are no exception. The freeze dried berries get stirred into the cookie dough with the chocolate chips, no special treatment necessary. They’re also stocked at many regular grocery stores these days (I found mine at Trader Joe’s), so they’re fairly easy to find.
This cookie dough is slightly unusual because it contains cornmeal. I find that cornmeal adds a subtle crunch to the cookie dough and, while you won’t end up with a cookie that tastes like cornbread, you do get the smallest hint of corn sweetness in the dough. The dough is fairly dry for these cookies, which makes it very easy to work with; the dough can easily be shaped by hand into balls before baking.
The cookies end up being crisp around the edges with just the right amount of chewiness in the center, and a little extra crunch and texture from the cornmeal. They store very well for several days when kept in an airtight container, and you can easily substitute other dried fruit into this basic recipe for other flavor combinations.
This Crustless Raspberry Custard Pie is not your typical custard pie. It is baked directly in a pie plate without a pastry or graham cracker crust beneath it, yet it still holds together well enough that you can easily slice and serve it, just as you would with a regular pie. The pie is creamy and tender, with more substance than you might expect a custard pie to have thanks, in part, to a generous amount of yogurt in the filling. It also has a nice vanilla-almond flavor and is a wonderful base in which to showcase fresh raspberries.
The secret to this pie is that it is a type of “impossible” pie. This type of pie has a very small amount of flour incorporated into the filling that forms a kind of “crust” beneath the pie as it bakes. This isn’t a crisp crust, but it is a slightly firm layer at the base that helps the pie hold together well. The resulting pie is less delicate than a more traditional custard pie, but it is also lighter (meaning lower in calories) than its traditional counterpart. It is also very easy to mix up and bake, even on very short notice.
Fresh raspberries, or another fresh berry, are the best choice for this dessert. The berries look beautiful in the pie and have a beautifully bright flavor against the custard. The pie can be served slightly warm, while it is fresh from the oven, or refrigerated and served chilled. I usually top mine with a little dusting of powered sugar, but a small dollop of whipped cream and a few extra raspberries can also make a perfect finish.
A traditional whoopie pie is a pair of cake-like chocolate cookies sandwiching a fluffy, marshmallow frosting center. It’s a good combination, to be sure, but whoopie pies are a lot more interesting when you mix things up with different flavors and, fortunately, it is very easy to add some flavor to a whoopie pie. These Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Raspberry Buttercream pair soft, chocolate cake and a fruity raspberry filling. Flavor-wise, it’s a great combination, but the bright colors in the finished dessert make this a lot of fun, too.
The cake portion of the whoopie pies is a simple, chocolate cake that has a generous amount of cocoa powder in it to ensure that each pie has a strong chocolate flavor. They’re moist and tender, but they are a little sturdier than chocolate cupcake would be so that they are easy to handle when filling and serving. The raspberry filling is a simple American buttercream – butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar – spiked with some raspberry puree. You can buy the puree at some stores, but I make batches by defrosting frozen berries and pureeing them in the food processor, then straining out the seeds. It takes a little extra time to make a puree, but they pack a lot of flavor and the raspberry really turned this buttercream a beautiful shade of pink. Chocolate and raspberry is a good flavor combination in any kind of dessert and this one is no exception.
The recipe makes about 16 generously sized whoopie pies, so they’re good for serving to a crowd or at a party. I think they’re an especially good Valentine’s Day treat because of the lovely pink filling inside of the pies. They keep well for several days when stored in an airtight container and they can even be frozen if you want to tuck one or two away for another day.