Raspberries are finally in season. I eat them like kids eat penny sweets- six in a hand, which then proceeds to knock them back simultaneously into my gaping mouth. I look forward to this time of year from the moment it ends to the moment it begins. Impatiently, I wait through the winter, trying to satisfy my cravings with what can only be classified as “other fruits”. Seeing the sign “raspberries: 3 for $5” or “2 for £2” is my cue- and my gluttonous instincts never fail to miss a cue. It goes without saying that raspberries are my favourite fruit. Other frontrunners include watermelon and peaches but in terms of ranking on my fruit favouritism ladder the rest trail miles behind. I see raspberries’ as like athletes who take performance enhancement drugs- there’s just no competition. Raspberries are just beautiful- and I, in particular love the fact that they are good for me- full of vitamins and low in those scandalous things called “calories”. If only ice cream was so good for me and then I could care less about seasons!
Every year that I can, I head out with my mum to pick raspberries in bulk at a farm called Huber’s in Indiana. We go our separate ways, humming our different out-of-tune-tunes as we fight the equally keen Bumble Bees to fill our baskets. Mum usually comes back with five overflowing baskets and I return with two; clutching an aching belly with hands that look more like they’ve been massaging the raspberry vines than picking from them. Mum always jokes that she used to make money picking fruit in her summer holidays to explain her impressive skills- I feel fairly confident in saying that I would not have made a good and honest employee in this profession. Enthusiastic- perhaps, overly. Productive- no.
At home we make vast quantities of jam and pack the rest into the freezer, ready to pull out for breakfast and desert for the rest of the summer. Raspberry crumble, raspberry ripple ice cream, raspberry bars, pavlova topped with raspberries, summer pudding, frozen raspberries with hot chocolate sauce, raspberry mojitos, raspberry coulis…. thank God it’s summer!
In recent years, we’ve all been lectured on the fact that we should buy our fruit and veg when it’s in season and I’m not going to devote this blog to further preach the benefits, even if I do agree. I’m simply devoting this to the love of my favourite fruit, the glorious food-of-the-Gods’ raspberry, which just so happens to be in season and is all the better for it. And, if I’m truly honest, I too would buy fresh raspberries out of season if I didn’t have an irritating voice in my head telling me not to spend my life’s savings on food. My parents may not have taught me portion control, but they did teach me to save-up and to be patient- or if not patient then to just bite my lip, sit down, shut up and bloody well wait. The wait is over.
Frozen raspberries with chocolate sauce
This is the first in a series of raspberry recipes I will publish. It’s such a cheats recipe, but sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best and this is a favourite in my books. It calls for frozen berries because the idea is that the chocolate hardens on the berries, but you can use fresh berries too- just be ready for chocolate covered fingers. A chocolate sauce with cream can be made and then kept in the fridge- but who wants to wait for that when there are raspberries waiting to be eaten? Base the quantities on how many people you have- and how greedy they are.
Good quality chocolate (milk, dark or white)
1/ Place frozen berries on platter
2/ Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a ban marie.
3/ Drizzle chocolate over raspberries.
Do you need any more directions?