Saturday, September 17, 2011

Recipes for Raspberries

So... did you run out and pick raspberries? I really wanted to go one last time this week, but I was sick. There's always next year.

Here are the two ways I used up the raspberries that we picked a couple of weeks ago (aside from eating them straight, that is).

Chocolate Pots de Creme with Raspberries
This chocolate is incredibly rich, and each bite needs a raspberry. You would be truly missing out if you chose to eat this without the tart, crisp raspberries to counterbalance the rich chocolate. 

It's worth noting that since so much of the flavor comes from the chocolate, you need to buy good quality chocolate (i.e. Don't buy the cheapest chocolate available)!

Yields 8; Recipe from America's Test Kitchen

Custard Ingredients
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (Ghirardelli or other kind with 60% cocoa)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups half & half
5 large egg yolks
5 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder mixed with 1 tbs water

Whipped Cream Ingredients
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp sugar
chocolate shavings for sprinkling on top (optional)

and, of course, a large handful of raspberries for each ramekin

For the Custard:

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl, and set a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl.
  2. Affix a candy thermometer to a medium saucepan or get an instant read thermometer ready. 
  3. In the saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream, half & half, yolks, sugar, and salt. 
  4. Switch over to a wooden spoon and pull up a stool-- you'll be here a while. Cook over medium-low heat until the custard registers 175-180, stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom. If you're me, you will only stir it every minute or so until the custard is starting to thicken, and then I will stir constantly until the end. DO NOT let it creep past 180; err on the side of too thin as it will thicken as it cools. 
  5. Moving quickly, pour the custard into the strainer over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until the chocolate is mostly melted. Whisk gently until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the vanilla and espresso and gently whisk until incorporated.
  6. Scoop even amounts of the custard into 8 ramekins, then tap each ramekin on the counter bring potential air bubbles to the surface.
  7. Let ramekins come to room temperature. Then, cover each ramekin flush to the custard's surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 72 hours. Let it sit at room temp for 20-30 minutes before devouring (oops, I didn't do that).
For the Whipped Cream:
  1. Beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. 
After letting the chocolate custard sit out at room temp for 20ish minutes, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream onto each custard, garnish with chocolate shavings (if desired), and top with copious amounts of raspberries.

Raspberry & Apple Fruit Leather

I used this simple recipe from to make homemade fruit leather. I added about a 1/2 cup more berries and apple sauce than the recipe suggests, which gave us enough for two batches. I froze the leftover sauce for a week between batches.

One thing to note is that it only took 4-5 hours for ours, so start checking on it early!

LE really really likes fruit leather, and I like that it's a convenient, less messy on-the-go treat for her. The first batch we planned to bring with us as a snack on the plane to NY, but she and I ate the whole thing in the 5 minutes it took for John to bring the stuff downstairs. Oops.


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