New Castle News

March 29, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Go on; give someone the raspberries

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — It was my first bowl of red raspberries for the season. And I was jubilant.

Plump, juicy and delicious to the last bite, those little nuggets of sweetness satisfied.

After this stretched-out, dismal winter, I was ready for a little taste of spring.

Fruit at lunch has mainly consisted of winter pears and apples and it was getting a little tiring. So the berries pulled me out of the winter fruit blahs.

Raspberries are among my favorite but blueberries and strawberries rate high, too.

In stores, you now can find fresh raspberries and strawberries, which are shipped from California.

We know that several servings of fruit per day is part of a healthy diet. And no, the figs in Fig Newtons don’t count as a fruit serving.

The raspberries we bought were Driscoll’s and they have a Website with a variety of recipes.

One of those pairs quinoa with raspberries and it sounds refreshing. We have been eating quinoa at least once a week. The grain is packed with protein and has a slight nuttiness flavor to it. I’m hooked. We usually combine it with vegetables but I look forward to switching it up a bit with berries. Also, on that page, I discovered a cookie that would be perfect for special occasions.

Our dessert selection today includes raspberry cream pie and a crumble that combines both strawberries and raspberries.

Enjoy these first offerings of spring.

While you’re at it, tell us what you’ve been cooking. Culinary Conversation is the place to share.

Quinoa Pilaf With Raspberries

In a medium saucepan, combine broth, quinoa and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove the lid during the last minute or two of cooking if quinoa hasn’t absorbed all the water.

Fold parsley, walnuts, currants and raspberries into hot quinoa. Let stand covered 5 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature

*Note: Couscous may be substituted for quinoa. Adjust broth amount and cook time according to couscous package directions.

Raspberry Strawberry Lemonade Bars

 *Pinch salt

 Preheat oven to 350.

 Cream butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer. Mix in flour until just incorporated. Flour hands and press dough into 8x8-inch square baking pan, so that it comes up about a 1/2 inch around the sides. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.

 While it cools, prepare the filling. Whisk sugar, egg whites, egg, lemon juice and zest, flour and salt in a large bowl. Puree fruit and then pass through a fine mesh sieve to extract all the pulp and juices. Whisk into lemon mixture and pour into crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is completely set. Let cool completely. Freeze for a short time; cut into squares.

Raspberry Cream Pie

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ground pecans, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Press onto bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool completely.

Pour 12 cup water into medium saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand about 5 minutes or until gelatin is softened. Add powdered sugar, granulated sugar, lemon juice and salt to gelatin mixture. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved.

Stir in raspberries. Let stand about 30 minutes or until thickened.

Beat cream in large bowl at high speed of electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold in raspberry mixture. Gently spoon into prepared crust. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Strawberry Raspberry Crumble

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place sliced strawberries and raspberries in a square 8x8-inch baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, oats, spices, and salt. Add butter and toss the mixture together with your hands. Break the butter up into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small pebbles and oat flakes. Toss in the walnuts , if using.

Put a generous handful (about 1 cup) of crumble topping into the strawberry and raspberry mixture. Toss loosely with your hands. Spread fruit evenly in the pan and top with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake until fruit is juicy and bubbling, and the top of the crumble is slightly browned and crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream.

(Note: recipes have not been tested!)