EOWTTA = R is for Raspberries

Saturday, February 6, 2010

(*EOWTTA = Eating Our Way Through the Alphabet)

And a Rather overdue post!

If you haven’t already guessed it by now, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE raspberries. They’re the only fruit I have stashed in the freezer year-round. I know it’s better to buy fresh, but the frozen berries still taste great, and actually works out a bit cheaper. Of course, now that it’s summer, I can indulge in fresh raspberries. Unfortunately, their highly perishable nature affects the price, which means raspberries are my occasional indulgence rather than a daily buy.

Raspberries are an aggregate fruit, and bet you didn’t know that all those little individual thingamabobs are known as “drupelets”. The raspberry doesn’t just come in shades of red, but also golden (yellow) and black (wouldn’t that just make it a blackberry?). Here’s something I didn’t know : the raspberry belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae).

Apparently raspberries contain lots of antioxidants and are a good source of vitamin C. Raspberry leaves can also be made into tea, which may or may not be beneficial in pregnancy (depending on who you listen to). There’s more information on pregnancy and raspberry leaf tea hereif you’d like it.

(pregnant pause)

Ok, ok, couldn’t resist! Apparently, raspberries are pretty easy to grow, so if you’ve got the space and the right climate, you could find some growing tips here.

I was wondering what to make with my precious raspberries, and the heat plus abundant summer produce provided the inspiration : Peach Melba of course! Apparently, an elaborate version of this dessert, (involving a swan ice sculpture), was created by French chef Auguste Escoffier to honour the Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba.

Well, I cant do ice-swans but I can do home–made vanilla ice-cream. I’ve been wanting to make my own ice-cream for a while now, but the lack of an ice-cream machine had been standing in my way. Luckily I found some tips on making ice-cream without a machine, along with an awesome recipeby David Lebovitz.

“Mmmmmm!” Mr. Kitchen Hand and I both remarked in unison upon digging into this dessert. MC Senior chimed in that the ice-cream tasted just like the “real one”!

Peach Melba

You will need (per person)

A scoop of vanilla ice-cream
Half a poached peach (see below)
Raspberry sauce (Blended about 2 cups thawed frozen raspberries with two tablespoon of sugar, then pushed the puree through a sieve. I think it’s traditional to add lemon juice as well to thin it down a bit)

Put a scoop of ice-cream into a bowl, top with a peach half and drizzle with sauce. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves if desired. Simple, yet so tasty.

Look Ma - real flecks! 

(I did a simplified poached peach. First skin some peaches (I used 5) by cutting a cross in the bottom, then dunking very briefly into boiling water. Removed stones and halve peaches.  I used about 2 1/2  cups water and a cup of sugar which I simmered (stirring) until the sugar dissolved. There needs to be enough water to cover the peaches - adjust sugar accordingly.

I then put the halved peaches in, and gently poached until  just tender. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon, then boil the remaining liquid until syrupy. Pour the syrup over the peaches, then cool and store in the fridge until required. Flavouring, eg: cinnamon stick, vanilla bean etc can be added to the poaching liquid)

More info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry


Barbara said...

Well Shaz, I gotta be honest. I LOVE the raspberry sauce AND the vanilla ice cream, but can do without the peaches. I know it's part and parcel of peach melba, but I have been shoving the peach aside since I was a tyke! It used to make my mother soooo mad!

pierre said...

hi shaz whent it comes to summertime rapsberries are my favourite !! pierre

MaryMoh said...

Ooooh....I love raspberries. It goes so well with ice cream or cheese tarts...yum

Hungry Dog said...

Lovely dessert. Raspberries are my favorite of all the berries--and thank you for all of the new facts!

grace said...

ha--right off, two things i love: the word "drupelets" and your pregnant pause. raspberries themselves are pretty lovable too, as is your melba. what can i say--i'm full of love today. :)

Barbara Bakes said...

I love the melty part of the ice cream at the bottom of the bowl loaded with sauce. So glad you got that picture! This looks fabulous!

Y said...

What a beautiful looking dish! I find buying raspberries are a bit like buying lottery tickets sometimes - you never know if they're going to be any good.

shaz said...

Ha ha Barbara - Mr. Kitchen Hand and one of the kids feel the same way about bananas - which is a shame as I love banofee pie. I can understand the peach thing though, they are quite odd, all fuzzy and they smell a bit strange I reckon. I still love them though :)

Great minds eh Pierre ;)

Hi MaryMoh - cheese tarts and raspberries do sound good!

Cheers Hungry Dog, I love doing these posts because I always end up learning a thing or two :)

Aww Grace - *hugs* for you.

Thanks Barbara(B) - the melty part looked so wonderful with all the raspberry swirls through it. My favourite ice-cream flavour as a kid was always raspberry ripple (mainly for the colour).

Thanks so much Y. I know, I'm always that irritating shopper who examines every single punnet prior to purchase! Although I find the frozen berries seem to taste pretty good (if a bit tart, but I like tart).

Trissa said...

Great recipe, great tips and information! I love raspberries too! Great to know that even a raspberry expert like you uses frozen ones... now I won't be too guilty doing it as well!