Raspberry Riches My Way


| 8/21/2014 3:05:00 PM


Tags: raspberries, apricots, blueberries, chef, farmer, pick your own, harvest, farmers market, favorite recipe, local produce, Chef Elizabeth,

Chef ElizabethAs a chef and farmer, my days are full of work, and yet I always stop and make time to enjoy seasonal produce as it comes to market. I have such a fondness for anything raspberry – my love for this fruit goes a long way back. This week, I could not resist raspberries at $2/pint so I bought four from the local farm in Perkinsfield, Ontario. I had eaten at least one pint as I was driving back to the farm. One of the great joys of being a chef is trying to decide what to make with the produce. Sometimes I experiment and sometimes I rely on my time-tested recipes. Raspberry Riches is one of those recipes that I have been baking for years.

raspberries 

more raspberries

I have gone to pick your own raspberry farms on many occasions – but they are hit and miss with respect to availability and the season is so short you have to time it perfectly. Here on Wynyates Farm, we have them growing – once again the challenge is to get to the raspberries before the birds and other creatures do. Animals know when the fruit is just ripe for the picking. My strategy is to watch for lots of activity and check out the canes for fruit. I also find it challenging to harvest a large amount at one time.

On Wynyates Farm, the raspberries are harvested in small portions and find their way into bowls of cereal, compotes or as a side to cake. Raspberries can get very expensive – even in season here in Ontario. So when I can get them cheaply, I buy lots and bake with them and freeze the rest. They do freeze well – wash them gently just before freezing. I simply lay them on a sheet and place on a level surface in the freezer so the berries are not clumped together. In the restaurant world, this process is called IQF – individually quick frozen. You see its use in the grocery stores with chicken breasts, shrimps, scallops and, yes, berries, too! They are easier to use if they are single morsels of fruit. I just bought a Cusinart ice cream maker, and I am looking forward to making frozen raspberry yoghurt.




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