Fresh raspberries make easy desserts

Berries are summer’s little jewels, and raspberries are the delicate rubies that look good with everything. Popular as a garnish, they also add beauty to sauces, sorbets and salsas. If ever there was an easy-to-celebrate food event, today’s National Raspberries and Cream Day might be it. Place a handful of fresh, fragrant raspberries in a bowl and top with a big dollop of whipped cream. Add a spoon and dig in. Are you salivating yet?

Fresh-Raspberry Gelatin and Whipped Cream

ADVERTISING


This glistening, tart-sweet dessert is a refreshing finish to any meal. Recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine; makes 4 servings.

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup white grape juice

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

1-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (1/2 envelope)

6-ounce container fresh raspberries, rinsed

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Place a medium saucepan over high heat; add sugar, water and mint. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 2 minutes, swirling pan to dissolve sugar. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl; discard mint. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine grape juice, lime juice and gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Remove bowl from heat; add mint syrup and berries, stirring with a wooden spoon to break some berries into pieces. Divide mixture among four 6-ounce ramekins, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until firm, 4 hours and up to 2 days. Just before serving, whip heavy cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Add confectioner’s sugar; beat until soft peaks return, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream on each serving.

Frozen Raspberry Mousse

Use a ring mold so you can fill the center with fresh berries. Recipe from “Berries: A Book of Recipes” by Lorenz Books; makes 6 company-worthy servings.

2 cups raspberries, plus more for serving

3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon crème de framboise or Kirsch

Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

In a food processor, puree (use the pulse setting) 2 cups raspberries; strain. Pour 1/3 of the puree into a bowl, stir in confectioner’s sugar, cover and chill. Reserve remaining puree. In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar and lemon juice until stiff peaks form. Remove bowl from pan; continue beating for 2-3 minutes, until cooled. Fold in reserved raspberry puree; whip cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold into raspberry mixture with the liqueur. Spoon into a 6-1/4 cup ring mold, then cover and freeze overnight. To unmold, dip mold in warm water for 5 seconds; wipe base. Invert a serving plate over mold; turn them over together, then lift off the mold. Fill center of mousse with fresh raspberries, decorate with mint leaves if desired, and serve with the sweetened raspberry puree.

Berry Ice Cream Pie

This makes a stunning dessert when sliced. Recipe adapted from Food &Wine magazine; makes 8 servings.

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham crackers)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 pints good vanilla bean ice cream, softened slightly

1 cup white balsamic vinegar

ADVERTISING


2 pints raspberries, plus more for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter until evenly moistened. Press crumbs into a 9-inch glass pie plate; bake 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely. Meanwhile, line another 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap and spread with 1 pint of the ice cream; top with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Repeat with another pint of ice cream on top of the plastic; cover with more plastic wrap and freeze. Repeat with final layer/pint of ice cream and freeze until firm. In a saucepan, boil vinegar over medium heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 15 minutes. Add the 2 pints berries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, crushing berries, until thick and jammy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl; put in freezer until chilled. Transfer top layer of flattened ice cream to the crust, spreading it to the edges. Top with half of the raspberry mixture. Repeat with middle layer of ice cream and remaining raspberry mixture. Top with final layer of ice cream; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Decorate top of pie with fresh raspberries and cut into wedges to serve.