Tag Archives: dessert

Raspberry Dessert #LMDConnector

Raspberry Dessert

Nothing says summer to me like fresh berries, but especially fresh raspberries. I have fond memories of the massive raspberry bushes at my grandparents’ house, of going out in the back yard with an old ice cream bucket and filling it to the brim with bright ruby-red berries. When I was a wee girl, I got to be the one to pick the berries hiding down low and under the leaves, and I used to sit in the shade of the raspberry bushes and eat them by the fistful while my grandmother filled the pails. 25 years later, the smell of fresh raspberries transports me straight back to her kitchen, and the warm summer evenings we spent together.

Raspberry Dessert

My inspiration for this month’s Life Made Delicious post is the essential summer berry – the raspberry. The rich red tones, the tart yet sweet burst in your mouth – perfection in a bite. This recipe is a family favourite, one that has been made for as long as I can remember by my grandmother, my mother, and my aunts. Incidentally, this is my first time attempting it! It has graced every family picnic, every barbecue, every potluck, every celebration in the summer months for as long as I can remember, and yet I have never been the one to make it. Ever. It seems ironic that I’ve tackled the vast majority of my family’s staple recipes, but not this one.

Raspberry Dessert

I spent most of this month wavering on what recipe I’d post, too. I just didn’t know – summer foods? Too many choices! But a recent, and unfortunately sad, family event made the decision for me. My grandfather passed away last night at the ripe old age of 85. I was thankfully able to have a very good, though somewhat rushed, visit with him in his final hours. And before I left, he urged me to go to the house and pick the raspberries – the bushes were overflowing. Well, they weren’t quite overflowing, but there was a decent harvest of fresh berries. We had actually already been to the house and picked the canes of their beautiful harvest before our visit with him, but I promised him that we would make something delicious with them. And so I did.

Raspberry Dessert

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I could honestly eat an entire pan of this and not feel an ounce of guilt. Granma and Pupa Good – this one’s for you. I miss you both more than I can possibly express, and your memories will live on. Of that I am certain.

Raspberry Dessert

Raspberry Dessert

Layer 1:
1 cup graham wafer crumbs
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Layer 2:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Layer 3:
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (85g) raspberry-flavoured gelatin
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

Layer 4:
1 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp unflavoured gelatin*
1 Tbsp cold water*

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small bowl, mix together graham wafer crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and combine, reserve 1 Tbsp, and press the remainder into an ungreased 8×8 pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, icing sugar, and almond extract. Spread over cooled graham crust.

Pour boiling water into a bowl and whisk in raspberry gelatin powder until dissolved. Stir in raspberries and refrigerate, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken and set. Pour over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate until completely set.

Whip cream until it begins to form peaks. Add sugar and vanilla. Sprinkle unflavoured gelatin powder over cold water, and let sit until all the water has been absorbed. Microwave gelatin for 30 seconds, until clear and all crystals have dissolved. Drizzle gelatin into the cream while whipping it. Spread over the set raspberry layer, sprinkle with reserved graham crumbs, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

* A tip: the gelatin and cold water is a stabilizing agent for the whipped cream. If you plan to serve this immediately, you can skip the stabilizing agent and just whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla. I like to add the stabilizer if it will be in the fridge for more than a few hours, as whipped cream has a tendency to lose its airiness if left to sit for too long.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, and creating tasty memories for your family, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Do you eat leftovers? We do, a lot. I know some people don’t, but I was raised in a no-wasting household, food and otherwise. I get unnecessarily stressed out about food waste, which is perhaps not entirely a bad thing. Using everything to the very end of its usefulness is good for the budget, even if it does require a little planning. Now that I have a household of my own, I have embraced the leftovers, and one of my personal challenges is to reuse meal extras in creative and resourceful ways, so that we aren’t simply microwaving yesterday’s dinner to eat again today.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

My husband is the one that introduced me to rice pudding. Prior to meeting him, the only rice pudding I remember having was the kind that I picked up in the university cafeteria, in little plastic cups with sealed foil lids, Kozy Shack emblazoned across the packaging and enjoyed between classes with a plastic spoon. My family was a potato family growing up – our starch of choice came in tuber form. Must be that good Irish stock. But regardless, rice was not something that was made often, and when it was, it was usually from a blue & red box, in “Minute” form. Or pre-seasoned and fried, the “-A-Roni” version. And on special occasions, the kind in the round foil containers with cardboard lids, from the Chinese take-out place. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned to cook rice, and admittedly, I am woefully bad at it. I should invest in a rice cooker, but my husband loathes the idea of another single-use appliance in the house when my kitchen and storage is already brimming with all the kitchen gadgetry that I already have.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

This recipe is one that I came up with to make use of leftover rice. I am often a poor judge of pre-cooked portions, and end up making far too much. And often even when I find that sweet spot and don’t think there will be any left, my children are less hungry than I expected. This is a very forgiving recipe for alterations. The only rule to really keep in mind is equal parts cooked rice and liquid, perhaps erring on the side of more liquid rather than less. Feel free to play with the proportions – more or less cream, half and half, coconut milk, whatever you like according to your taste. You can also sweeten it however you like, but if you are using a granulated sugar, you may want to add it earlier in the cooking process. I prefer to sweeten with raw honey, so I add it as close to the end as possible to preserve the distinct wild honey flavour. This is our favourite variation, as well, with a rich rum flavour and plump, warm raisins.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup cream
2 Tbsp honey
2/3 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp dark rum
2 Tbsp honey
pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, bring rice, milk, and cream to a simmer over medium low heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has mostly been absorbed and the pudding is beginning to look thick, about 20-30 minutes.

Add honey, raisins, vanilla, rum, and salt. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the pudding is thick and the raisins have plumped up a little. Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold. {Note: If you refrigerate to serve later and wish to reheat, you may have to add some extra liquid, as it thickens considerably upon cooling}. Serves 4-6.

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