raspberry

Homemade Raspberry Liqueur

Homemade Raspberry Liqueur

I make a lot of different liqueurs. Raspberry liqueur is probably one of my favorites. It reminds me of a warm summer afternoon.

I love raspberries. My parents had a row of raspberry bushes at the back of the yard, so I grew up enjoying them fresh. I preserve raspberries to enjoy all year long.  I freeze berries, make jams and jellies and dehydrate some.

I also enjoy  using some to make homemade raspberry liqueur. You just start with alcohol – I  most often use vodka – then you add raspberries. I sweeten it later on, but you can leave it unsweetened, if you prefer.

Its beautiful color and great flavor make it nice for sipping, or used in mixed drinks. Think of it as just another food preservation method. Here is the recipe, in case you want to make it. Makes a great gift, too.

You can use fresh or frozen berries.

Homemade Raspberry Liqueur

1 lb. raspberries*
3 c. vodka, you could use brandy
1 ¼ c. sugar
Combine fruit and vodka and let stand 2 -4 weeks. Stir in sugar and age 3 months. Strain and filter. Makes 3-4 cups.

*You can use frozen berries, too.

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

Often the best things are the simple things. I will admit to making some pretty fancy dishes  at times. I am not afraid of adding lots of ingredients for layers of flavor. But sometimes less is more. I had about 8 oz. of frozen raspberries. Well, they weren’t frozen anymore. I had thawed out a bag of raspberries for use in a cake. I had some extra and didn’t really want to freeze them again. I also had some fresh lemon juice so I decided to make a raspberry lemonade.  I started with lemon juice, the berries and all the juices from the berries and a little sugar. Mixed it all together and added some water. At first I thought I’d strain out the berries but I decided to leave them in. Simple and delicious. Perfect refresher for a warm day.

Berry White Cake

Berry White Cake

Berry White Cake

I wanted a dessert that included fresh berries. I ended up making a white cake and then studded it with raspberries and blueberries. I topped it off with a lemon butter cream frosting and since it was the 4th of July I added a few star sprinkles. I loved the cake and it was a big hit with friends. After the cake was all done I decided to call it the Berry White Cake and found myself humming Barry White songs!!

To make the cake start by making a white cake batter. I used homemade -recipe follows- but you could use a box mix if that is what you prefer. After you pour the batter into your pans, or pans, sprinkle with some blueberries and raspberries- or whatever berries you happen to have. Fresh or frozen berries could be used. I used about 2 cups of berries in all, maybe a bit more.

Top the cake batter with berries before baking

Top the cake batter with berries before baking

Freshly baked

Freshly baked

Finished with lemon butter cream and patriotic sprinkles

Finished with lemon butter cream and patriotic sprinkles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once cooled frost the cake. I used a lemon butter cream- recipe follows.

Classic White Cake

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4 egg whites or whole eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch pan. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle berries over the surface of the cake. Bake 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. Makes 1.

Note: I actually made 3 smaller cakes from this recipe- reduced baking time to 20- 25 minutes.

Lemon Butter Cream

½ cup butter
4 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 T. milk
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a bowl beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the milk, juice and vanilla. Slowly beat in remaining sugar. Beat in additional milk, if needed, to make of spreading consistency.

 

 

 

Raspberries and Cream Bread

Raspberry and Cream Bread

Raspberry and Cream Bread

I have some very nice memories about raspberries. We had them growing in our yard when I was a kid.  I always enjoyed just eating them right off the plants or the jam my Mother would make. I also remember the time our dog got to them before we did and ate all the raspberries. This simple bread is studded with fresh raspberries. It can be eaten just plain or dressed up with fruit topping or maybe some whipped cream. I am a purist, I like to eat it just the way it is. Like most quick breads it is better if you wrap it up in plastic or foil once cooled and eat it the next day- if you can wait that long!!

Raspberries and Cream Bread

1 ¾ c. flour
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
½ c. butter, at room temperature
¾ c. sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
½ c. sour cream, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1 c. fresh raspberries
¾ c. chopped nuts, optional

Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Set aside. In small bowl beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in berries and nuts and place batter in prepared pan. Bake 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf. Freezes well.

Raspberry Liqueur

Raspberry Liqueur

Raspberry Liqueur

I enjoy making homemade liqueurs. You just start with alcohol- I  most often use vodka – then you add ingredients to flavor the alcohol. I have done all sorts over the years and raspberry is one of my all time favorites. Its beautiful color and great flavor make it nice for sipping as is or used in mixed drinks. I like to think of it as just another food preservation method!!! Here is the recipe in case you also want to make it. Makes a great gift, too.

Raspberry Liqueur

1 lb. raspberries
3 c. vodka
1 ¼ c. sugar
Combine fruit and vodka and let stand 2 -4 weeks. Stir in sugar and age 3 months. Strain and filter. Makes 3-4 cups.

Raspberry Crumb Cake

Raspberry Crumb Cake

Raspberry Crumb Cake

With an abundance of fresh raspberries and a crunchy crumb topping this is a cake everyone will remember. Not too sweet and full of fresh berries it is just the type of dessert I enjoy most. When you add 2 cups of raspberries to the batter it might seem like too much. It is not.  You want to be able to see and taste the berries  in every bite.

Raspberry Crumb Cake

For cake batter:
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ stick (¼ cup) butter, softened
¾ c. sugar
1 egg
½ c. sour cream
2 t. vanilla
2 cups raspberries – I used fresh but frozen should work, too
For topping:
½ c. sugar
¼ c. flour
½ t. cinnamon
½ stick (¼ c. butter, chilled and cut into bits)

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, sour cream and vanilla. Add flour mixture gradually until just mixed in. Fold in raspberries. Grease and flour an 8 or 9-inch pan and add prepared batter. Combine topping ingredients until they resemble coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter in pan and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. Use toothpick to test.

Raspberry Chocolate Wonton Bundles

Raspberry Chocolate Bundles

Raspberry Chocolate Bundles

Still playing around with wontons and since I have some fresh raspberries I decided to use them together. I added chocolate, too. Once I filled all the bundles I baked them until golden brown, cooled them a little, and dusted with powdered sugar. These would be a cute dessert to make when fresh berries are available. I could see using blackberries or blueberries, too. They were quick to assemble, too.

Here is what I did.

I started by washing the raspberries and then putting them in a small bowl with some sugar. I rolled the raspberries around to coat them. I put a combination of chocolate chips- I had mini ones- and 3 raspberries in the center of each won ton wrapper. I’d say about a teaspoon of chips.

Place chocolate chips and 3 raspberries in the center of each wonton wrapper

Place chocolate chips and 3 raspberries in the center of each wonton wrapper

I used water to moisten the edges of the wrapper and brought 2 points together to form and triangle. Then I brought the other 2 points up to create a cute little bundle. I pressed all the edges together to minimize leaks. I put the little bundles on a baking sheet- lined with a silicone baking mat and sprayed them with some non-stick spray. I could have  brushed them with oil instead or even used nothing. I baked them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. They were crispy and golden brown. They could have even cooked a minute or two longer. I placed them on a tray to cool and dusted them with powdered sugar. They came out quite nice.

I wasn’t sure how much moisture the raspberries would create when they got hot. I tried to leave them intact and not crush or bruise them as I placed them in the wrappers. The wrappers I used already had a cornstarch coating on them. I assumed the cornstarch would thicken any juices the raspberries made and that seemed to be the case. While some juices bubbled out of some of the wrappers it was no worse than berries bubbling out of a pie. The next day I tested a couple and they were still pretty crisp.

Bring points together to form a bundle

Bring points together to form a bundle

Place on parchment, silicone baking sheet or lightly oil a cookie sheet.

Place on parchment, silicone baking mat or lightly oil a cookie sheet.

Bake until golden brown

Bake until golden brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow to cool a little before dusting with powdered sugar

Allow to cool a little before dusting with powdered sugar

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

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