One of the joys of being a gardener is walking past the beautiful branches of the raspberry bushes and discovering that the fruit has ripened and it's ready for picking. You can't help but pick a few of the juicy red berries and pop them directly into your mouth. As they seem to melt away and the juices fill your taste buds with happiness, you can't stop at just one. Berry after berry misses the wicker collection basket and end up as a gardening snack!
The cool, wet spring and the blast of warm temperatures in the last month resulted in some of the largest raspberries ever.
Several years ago one of the Doctors I work with dug up several small sections of his raspberries for me to plant. They have since spread into just the right amount for us to consume and I have to admit, a few are enjoyed by the birds as well.
Whether they are enjoyed straight from the garden, as part of a salad, or pureed into a nice sauce for ice cream, nothing is better for the upcoming holiday weekend.
One of my favorite desserts is a Chocolate/Raspberry Tart with a Biscotti crust.
8 ounces biscotti cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup raspberry sauce (recipe follows)
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
Make the biscotti crust
Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease a 9 inch fluted tart pan.
Using your food processor, blender, puree the biscotti until they are finely ground. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir to combine. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake in preheated oven for 12-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in the tart pan on a wire rack.
Make the filling
First make the raspberry sauce by pureeing the raspberries in your food processor, until smooth. Pour into a strainer set over a bowl and use a rubber spatula to push the puree through the strainer into the bowl. The seeds will remain in the strainer. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, bring heavy whipping cream to a boil. Immediately pour over chocolate and let sit for five minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup of the raspberry sauce.
Pour the filling into the cooled tart crust. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, top with fresh raspberries!