Thursday, October 8, 2009

Local Raspberry Treats

The last time I posted I was plum crazy. This is another example of similar behavior only in raspberry. We are lucky enough to have a U-Pick Raspberry farm within 15 minutes of our house. I was out in early September with plans to return many times again. Factor in new schedules, work, weather and illness and it took weeks. Monday I finally returned and spent over an hour in the midst of raspberry brambles. It was a gorgeous bright, fall day full of warm sun, chirping crickets and birds, distant train whistles and the occasional "thunk" as a black walnut fell to the ground. So pleasant it was, I almost forget the pain in my back from hunching over in search of berries. The pain was worth it. My freezer is stocked and we've enjoyed many treats since the raspberries hit the yellow house.

After my first trip, I immediately made raspberry liqueur as I had with strawberries. A few cups of raspberries, sugar and vodka shaken and allowed to sit. I haven't checked on it lately, it's in a dark cabinet. I am sure it's ready to strain and sip with friends gathering next week.

Why the eggs? I used farm eggs to make raspberry lemon curd. This picture was irresistible to me and a shining example of the value of farm eggs. Check out that yolk!

I pureed a small amount of raspberries and then strained them - don't want any seeds in the curd. Rather than bust out the Cuisinart, I used the immersion blender with the cup attachment. Very effective and super easy to clean up.

I love these tall wide mouth jars - any thing you put into them looks fabulous. I do love the look of the Weck jars but the simplicity of a good old Ball jar is something special in its own right. The raspberry curd is delicious and has been enjoyed on countless English muffins and spoons. I see a pudding and maybe a few baby tartes in the future, too. If you'd like to try this recipe or an easy straight lemon version check Everyday Food.

I made a beautiful coffeecake dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with fresh raspberries on the stem, too. It was a donation and unfortunately was rushed out the door without photos. However, as good as it looked, I doubt it could have possibly been as good as these muffins. I make a lot of muffins for easy breakfasts and snacks but more often than not I am disappointed. Perhaps my expectations are too high for a humble muffin, but few do I make twice. These Lemon-Raspberry Muffins were amazing and I can't wait to make them again.

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil,
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners

Use a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine zest and sugar in a food processor, pulse until the zest is finely chopped into the sugar. You could use a zester but I feel to best incorporate citrus flavor into the sugar it's helpful to start with large pieces of zest. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until well blended.

Combine flour, baking powder powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide batter equally among muffin cups.

Bake until the edges of the muffins and tops are golden, 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm if possible but they are yummy at room temperature, too.

Yield: 12 muffins

1 comment:

Georgine said...

I totally want some of that raspberry lemon curd. Holy smoly, it looks incredible. Whose eggs are those? They look god.