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What’s in Season: Raspberries

By The PD Web Team

You know it’s summer when plump, sweet raspberries start showing up at the grocery store at more affordable prices!

“Berry” Delicious!
These delicate beauties, the third most popular berry in the United States, produce their first crop in June and continue into early Fall.  They’re great in desserts or simply as a snack to pop into your mouth.  They can also be a tart accessory in salads, a nutritious ingredient in smoothies, or an elegant complement to a reduction sauce.  They pair particularly well with citrus fruits and creamy cheeses like brie, mascarpone, ricotta, and of course, cream cheese.

Raspberries exist in hundreds of varieties and are actually a member of the rose family.  The most common North American type comes in shades of dark pink, but they can also be black, purple, or golden (yellow), which are a real treat if you can find them.  They are most flavorful when fresh and at room temperature.  And if the taste isn’t enough of a sell, raspberries have lots of vitamins and phytonutrients!

Now for some Test Kitchen Tips!
If kept chilled in the fridge, they will probably last 3-5 days.  Raspberries can also be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Make sure you don’t wash them until you’re planning to use them, and pat them dry gently; they bruise very easily, and water and bruising makes them more likely to mold.  Raspberries break down quickly when cooking, so recipes often recipes recommend mixing them with other fruits.  If you want some raspberries to remain whole, you can leave some out for garnish or save a portion until the final stages of cooking. For smoother texture, many people prefer to strain raspberries when making things like dressings or purees.

 

Here are some Test Kitchen favorites:

For decadent breakfast…
Vanilla Bean Crepes with Mascarpone Filling

For a filling, enticing salad…
Spinach Salad with Hot Blackberry Walnut Dressing

For a mouth-watering dinner…
Grilled Steak and Blue Cheese with Raspberry Glaze
A cheesy tour-de-force with mixed berry sauce.

For a refreshing summer sweet treat…
Fresh Raspberry Yogurt Pops
Made with nonfat yogurt!

And for dessert:
Cream Cheese Tart with Raspberries
Super-cute and easy, made in muffin tins

Raspberry Bars
Perfect for a tea party, brunch, potluck or snack.

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