Raspberry Season is here
Raspberry season is in full swing so why not celebrate this succulent and versatile fruit with us. The raspberry fruit is a nation’s favourite when it comes to picnics packed lunches and scrumptious deserts. Being one of the most popular berries, raspberries can be enjoyed straight from the punnet, in hundreds of wonderful recipes and are the perfect low fat snack. With high levels of natural sugar raspberries are great for preserving high energy levels.
Raspberries are native to Asia and have been eaten since prehistoric times. From June to September we can expect to be enjoying the very best British raspberries we have to offer. With the Romans cultivating raspberries the widespread growth was seen throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The popularity of raspberries meant that by the end of the nineteenth century there were numerous varieties to choose from.
Today raspberry production forms an important part of the Scottish economy.
Tips on How to Pick Raspberries
Gently grasp the berry with your fingers and thumb, and tug gently.
If it is ripe, it will easily come off, leaving the centre part attached to the stem.
Don’t throw – the fruit into your containers.
Don’t overfill your containers or try to pack the berries down.
General Picking Tips
Pick only the berries that are fully red. Part the leaves with your hands to look for hidden berries ready for harvest.
Avoid placing the berries in the sunshine any longer than necessary. It is better to put them in the shade.
Cool them as soon as possible after picking. Raspberries may be kept fresh in the refrigerator for two or three days, depending upon the initial quality of the berry.
DON’T wash the berries until you are ready to use them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
Raspberries will only keep for 1 – 2 days in a refrigerator, so for best flavour and texture eat as soon as possible.
Why not try this recipe? (Raspberry & redcurrant cobbler)
All you need is the following ingredients:
juice 1 orange
2-4 tbsp caster sugar
For the cobbler:
85g cold butter, cubed
200g self-raising flour
100g soft brown sugar
150ml full-fat milk
2 tbsp demerara sugar
crème fraîche or ice cream, to serve
Heat oven to 190C if the redcurrants are still on their stalks, run each stalk through the tines of a fork to release them. If you have the time and inclination, pinch the little end stalks off – this will make them nicer to eat.
Put the redcurrants and raspberries into a 1-litre baking dish, add the orange juice and shake over most of the sugar. Taste a raspberry first to gauge whether you will need all the sugar or not.
To make the cobbler, whizz the butter, flour, soft brown sugar and a pinch of salt to fine breadcrumbs in a food processor. Mix in the buttermilk or milk to make a very soft, spoonable dough.
Dollop the dough over the fruit in blobs and sprinkle with demerara. Bake for 55 mins or until the top is golden and cooked through and the berries bubbling.
Recipe taken from BBC Good Food.