Posts Tagged ‘Raspberries’

With the sun shining and the temperature soaring into the high 20s, it’s hard to believe its already Fall.  I love the changing of the seasons, especially when the weather is so mellow.  As the sun glistens on my bike ride home, I soak in the rays while admiring the leaves starting to turns.  Even better, the farmer’s markets are bustling, bursting with produce.

Who doesn't love peaches and raspberries?

Who doesn’t love peaches and raspberries?

I’ve been home visiting my parents, and this past weekend we celebrated my mother’s birthday. She is a raspberry addict, so her birthday dessert just had to have an infusion of raspberries.  We had a beautiful basket of peaches that were perfectly ripe and also needed eating, so I decided to combine the two for a special treat.  I happened upon a recipe for raspberry peach crisp from Averie Cooks and it seemed like the perfect choice to combine the peaches and raspberries for our celebration.

The crisp itself was delicious, full of bold flavours that complimented rather than overwhelmed each other.  The raspberries’ tartness stood out beautifully with the smooth peaches, a delicious combination I’ll most certainly have to try again!  I loved the fresh flavours along with the ease of assembling – it took a mere 10 to 15 minutes.  And who doesn’t love a crispy oatmeal topping?

Raspberry Peach Crisp

Raspberry Peach Crisp


Fruit Filling

2 1/2 heaping cups diced peach chunks (about 5 medium ripe peaches)
1 1/2 heaping cups raspberries (I used fresh, but the original recipe says frozen is just fine)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Crumble Topping

6 tablespoons salted butter, cold
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned whole-rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch pie dish.

For the fruit filling: In a large bowl, add the peaches, raspberries, granulated sugar, and cornstarch.  Toss gently to combine and place in pie dish

For the crumble topping: Place the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until small pea-sized clumps form. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the fruit filling.

Place pie dish on a cookie sheet (in case there’s an overflow as it’s cooking) and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly. Crisp is ready when it is bubbling vigorously along the edges of the pie plate and the topping is golden browned.

Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.

Bon appétit!   Catherine

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Raspberry Jam

One of the well-kept secrets about jam is you can make it without cooking the jam over a stove (and this method is generally far easier to make than its cooked sibling!) Cooking raspberries transform their colour from a vibrant red to a more subdued burgundy. It can also often mute the raspberry flavour. So in our era of freezers, no-cook raspberry jam is a delicious alternative to the more traditional stovetop method.

While I am partial to strawberry jam, my mother and sister absolutely adore raspberry jam. (Dare I admit that I have caught them spoon in hand over an open jar?) Unsurprisingly, there is always a jar of this jam ready to open in our freezer. While the consistently is sometimes a little runnier than its cooked counterpart, its vibrancy never fails to win over converts.

Bonus: As the prepared raspberry jam is stored in the freezer and fridge, there is no risk of botulism, so no need to sterilize jam jars like for cooked jam!


No-Cook Raspberry Jam

Makes 6 1/3 cups jam



4 cups washed and crushed raspberries
3 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 box CERTO Light Pectin Crystals

Appropriate number of jars, rings, and lids (either three 2-cup jars or six 1-cup jars). If the berries are particularly juicy, an extra jar may come in handy!



Place crushed raspberries in large mixing bowl.** Combine CERTO light pectin crystals with ¼ cup of measured sugar. Add to prepared fruit.

Let stand 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the remainder of the sugar and stir for 3 minutes.

Pour into clean containers filling up ¼ inch from rim. Cover with lids. Leave at room temperature 24 hours until set. Store unopened jars in freezer for up to 8 months. Once jars are opened, store in refridgerator.

**If you want to reduce the number of seeds in your jam, strain half the crushed raspberries pulp through a sieve before measuring crushed berries.

Bon appétit!


– Catherine

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Today is a very special day – 3/14 – the best excuse of the year to make pie!

So in honour of pi day, I share below my five favourite pies from last year.  May your days be filled with delicious pie!

– Catherine


Tourtiere – Easily my favourite savoury pie, this traditional Quebecois meat pie is a treat!

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart with Toasted Pistachios  – This combination of tart cranberries, nutty pistachios, and smooth chocolate is elegant and stunning. 

Raspberry Glacee Pie – If you ever need to bribe my mother, look no farther.  This delicate raspberry pie is truly divine served with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pie – Nothing screams autumn more than impeccably spiced pumpkin pie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie –  Whipped hazelnut cream filling topped with chocolate ganache.  Need I say more?

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Among my mother’s family, the litmus test to see whether you are related is to ask about your favourite dessert .  The only permissible answer is raspberry glacée pie. The following is a top-secret family recipe, for which I hope my family can forgive me for sharing with you!

Even our Ford family reunions prominently feature raspberry glacée pies.  A few years ago, 13 or 14 of us polished off three pies in one sitting.  And over the last few weekends, my family has enjoyed raspberry glacee pies over five seperate sittings.  I can safely say that without fail, everyone has licked their plate clean.

The secret of this pie is the fresh raspberries. You see, raspberries lose some of their divine taste when cooked.  Because these delicate berries are only in-season for a few weeks a year, one must savour their luscious flavour.  This pie embraces ripe raspberries, coating them with a smooth glaze and serving them in a flaky pie crust.  Served with whipping cream, I can only hope heaven tastes this delicious!

Raspberry Glacée Pie

(1 pie, or 6-8 generous slices)


1 9-inch baked pie shell

1 cup crushed raspberries

3/4 cup cold water

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Pinch salt

1 tsp lemon juice

3 generous cups fresh raspberries

Whipping cream


Simmer the crushed berries and water for 3 to 4 minutes.  Strain the mixture.  Add extra water if needed to make 1 cup of juice.

Add sugar, cornstarch and salt to juice.  Stirring constantly, cook over medium-low heat until syrup is thick and clear, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Allow syrup to cool before adding the lemon juice.

Place fresh raspberries in the baked pie shell.  Pour the syrup overtop.  Perfect topped with whipped cream!

– Catherine

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My friend’s boyfriend is anaphylactic allergic to peanut butter, so she generally refrains from eating it.  This often proves a challenge because she is a peanut butter fiend at heart.  When her boyfriend visited Toronto for a weekend, we decided to celebrate by binging on peanut butter non-stop.  Another good friend decided to make Joy of Cooking’s peanut butter pie.  It was what you call love at first sight – oozing with peanut butter filling and topped with a gooey chocolate ganache, this was even tastier than Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Between the three of us, the pie evaporated before our eyes.

A few weeks later, we attended an Easter dinner.  Filled with delicious food and great company, the night melted away.  Instead of peanut butter, my friend tried substituting hazelnut butter.  While the peanut butter pie was indulgent, the hazelnut butter was utterly decadent.  I decided that I would have to make the pie myself for a very special occasion.

Last week, my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary.  Along with a delicious cheese fondue, we celebrated their marriage with chocolate hazelnut pie.  Now my mother is what I call a true dessert connaisseur: she lives for dessert and can spot a supreme one from just an ordinary affair a mile away. The hazelnut pie exceeded her expectations, and I have no doubt we will soon be eating it again!

Hazelnut butter can often be found in the organic section of the grocery store.  If you cannot find it, simply substitute almond or peanut butter instead.  As for serving size, a sliver is all you need to savour this smooth dessert.  Bon appetit!

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

(10-inch pie or 9-inch springform pan)



Crumb crust:

1 ½ cups fine graham cracker or chocolate wafer crumbs

¼ to ½ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Hazelnut Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)

1 cup hazelnut butter

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream


¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

8 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate



Crumb crust:

In a bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients. Press into a 10-inch pie or springform pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Cool the crust before filling (can be done in the fridge/freezer)

Hazelnut filling:

Beat in a large bowl until smoothly blended the cream cheese, hazelnut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.Using a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spread the mixture into the crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate until firm, about four hours (or if you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer).

Chocolate Ganache:

Bring the whipping cream to a boil, stirring in the instant coffee.  Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir/whisk gently until completely smooth. Let cool to lukewarm and then pour over the pie and spread evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (again, you can also use the freezer) and up to 3 days.

Serve with masses of whipped creamand raspberries for an absolutely delicious dessert.  Eat slowly – you will want to savour each and every bite!

– Catherine

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Berry Explosion Smoothie

I arrived home from school around 10pm tonight, absolutely exhausted after attending over 8 hours of lecture and an hour of reading with rambunctious six-year olds. I could feel that sort of itchy scratchy feeling at the back of my mouth, that telltale sign off impending illness. Nothing in my fridge was appealing to me, so I was scoping my freezer when I came across my packages of frozen berries. What better way to re-energize and prevent a nasty cold than by indulging in a creamy, antioxidant filled smoothie???

I used a blender for the first time in December (shocking, I know!) – and quickly fell in love with the smoothie. It’s just so versatile – gorgeous in colour and never-fails to be scrumptious. Did I mention it takes about four minutes to make, total including clean-up? Just chuck in your favourite fruits (or those which have seen better days), make it creamy and delicious with a few spoonfuls of yoghurt or icecream (if you really want to be decadent), whirl it around a few times, and then savour that deliciousness, tangy flavour!

I am an ardent berry lover, so tonight I offer you my favourite berry smoothie, jam-packed filled with antioxidants. My first smoothie disappeared so quickly, I just might have to make a second one this instant…

Berry Explosion Smoothie
(1 generous serving, 2 normal people servings)

Large handful frozen raspberries (about 1/2 cup)
Large handful frozen blueberries (about 1/2 cup)
1 banana cut up into 1-inch chunks
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
A few large spoonfuls of raspberry yoghurt (about 1/2 cup)

Place fruit and yoghurt and blender and whirl. Savour away!

– Catherine

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