Category Archives: raspberry

Blue-Razz Pie

 If, hypothetically speaking, I ever wanted to leave New York City for good, I know exactly where I would go. I’d pack my life into a moving truck, drive ten hours north, hop a ferry, and set up camp on Swans Island, Maine. There would be an initial shock, leaving a city of 8 million people and taking residence in a town of 300, but I’m sure I’d adjust quickly. 

As I doubt I have any talent for lobstering (the primary profession among citizens of Swans Island), I think I’d build a little pie shop next door to the general store and live out my days wearing cute aprons, rolling dough, and serving warm slices of local berry pie a la mode. Oh yes, that’s the dream. Or at least it is today.

I’m currently vacationing on Swans Island with my dear friends VJ, Shira, and Liz. As there are two Lizzes here, I have been dubbed Betsy for the purposes of this trip. There’s not much to do here–there’s one store, no restaurants, no TV. Wi-Fi is available only from the porch of the public library and the vestibule in the post office. We’re completely out of our normal routines, instead filling our days with reading, relaxing, building fires, and making meals together. It’s absolutely glorious, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are not terribly thrilled that we’ll have to drive back to Brooklyn on Saturday. 

Liz and I have spent several hours walking down the side of the main road foraging for berries. When I was here last year, I found tons and tons of wild blackberries, but they’re not quite ripe yet. Instead, we’ve done some light trespassing in the name of blueberries and worried about ticks while picking raspberries in a ditch. We have not been arrested or had any ticks, thank goodness, but we have managed to collect just enough berries for pie.

When Liz and I met a year ago, we bonded over our mutual love of pie. She is a filling person, while I prefer the crust–a perfect balance, if you ask me. We have made at least fifteen pies since, including one November evening where we baked three apple pies before virtually passing out during the final game of the World Series. Every single one has been an enjoyable (and delicious) collaboration, but I think the Blue-Razz Pie we made today is my very favorite. 

  And how couldn’t it be? We worked as a team, scouring every bit of woods up and down North Road in an effort to make this happen. On our first visit to the WiFi porch at the public library, we each rushed through checking our email and social media so that we could squat in a ditch and pick blueberries. Yesterday, we took a six hour sojourn to the mainland for provisions and even though we were exhausted when we got back to the island, we put on long pants and went out to gather raspberries near the Back Cove. Our foraging was cut short by rain, but when we got home, Liz cut together a batch of Cream Cheese Pie Dough and we planned to get up the next morning and make pie first thing. 

   She stirred together the filling while I rolled and cut dough. We cut out hearts with an ancient cookie cutter we found in the back of a cabinet full of mismatched pots and pans. Everything got a brush of egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar before being popped into the oven. And forty-five minutes later, we pulled out the most beautifully browned pie, full of bits of wild raspberries and blueberries and smelling like magic. 

 There’s something really amazing about biting into something you made with someone you adore. This pie captures what I love about my friendship with Liz: the teamwork, the creativity, and the sweetness. I can’t wait to make another one. 

 Blue-Razz Pie
makes one standard 9-inch pie

1 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
juice of 1/2 lime

Egg Wash
1 egg
1 teaspoon water

On a floured surface, roll out one disc of pie dough to a 12-inch diameter and fit it in the pan. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch of overhang. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

In a large mixing bowl, combine blueberries, raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and lime. Fold with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly coated. Transfer filling to prepared crust. Refrigerate.

On a floured surface, roll out the other disc of pie dough to a 12-inch diameter. You may use a cookie cutter to cut shapes in the dough before laying it over the top of the filling. If you want a full top crust, lay the rolled-out dough on top of the filling and cut a few vents. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch of overhang, and crimp the top and bottom crust edges together. Refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Make the egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Use a pastry brush to brush the entire exposed crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45-55 minutes, tenting with foil at the 20 minute mark.

Let pie cool completely on a rack. Slice and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Triple Berry Breakfast Crumble

 As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than an early morning summer walk in New York. I rarely work before 3pm, so it becomes a daily ritual this time of year. Everybody else in Brooklyn Heights is sweating in their business clothes on their way to catch the subway, but I’m in yoga pants and Birkenstocks with an iced coffee in-hand, on my way to the green market for fresh berries. 

That’s my speed on weekday mornings: a quick stroll of the neighborhood, a little shopping, and then home to make breakfast with whatever looks best at the market. It’s a luxurious way to start the day–a fact of which I am far too aware–and I have no intention of wasting a minute of it. One of these days, I’ll likely have a job that requires me to get out of the house bright and early, but until then, I’m going to enjoy my walk, drink too much coffee, and come home to make Triple Berry Breakfast Crumble. 

This crumble is perfect for summer–fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are coated in a sweet orange mixture and topped with an oat and almond crumble, then baked until bubbly. The berries burst as they bake and create a beautiful red, orange-scented sauce. The topping gets brown and crunchy. Spooned into a bowl with your favorite yogurt (I’m partial to Siggi’s), this crumble is a perfectly delicious way to start the day.

I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t crumbles traditionally served for dessert? Well, yes. And this one would be great with a scoop of ice cream. But why wait all day when you can enjoy it first thing?! This recipe serves six and has less than 1/2 cup sugar. And if that’s not enough to sway you, the crumble is 100% whole grain. It’s made primarily of oats and white whole wheat flour, with five tablespoons of butter to hold it all together. Oh, and there are almonds for a little extra protein. I’m no nutritionist, but that all sounds pretty healthy to me.

Triple Berry Breakfast Crumble can be made start-to-finish in 45 minutes, which means that it’s perfect for a casual summer brunch, but can also be made on a Sunday night and reheated all week long. It’s excellent cold too, so you can pack your portion to-go without wondering if there’s a microwave at your destination. Make this crumble this summer–it’s a little taste of luxury any day of the week. 

  Triple Berry Breakfast Crumble
adapted from Breakfast Apricot Crisp by Deb Perelman
makes one 9-inch pie plate, about six servings

Filling:

16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint fresh blueberries
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Crumble:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour*
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cubed

yogurt, for serving

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.

Combine strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, orange zest and juice, and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to gently stir it all together. Transfer berry mixture to prepared pie plate. Set aside.

Make the crumble. In a small mixing bowl, stir together oats, flour, sugar, salt, and almonds. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into mixture until the largest chunks are the size of small peas. Distribute crumble evenly over the top of the filling.

Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to collect any overflow. Place assembled crumble on the top rack. Bake 30 minutes, tenting with foil if the crumble starts to brown too quickly. Let cool 10 minutes before serving with yogurt.

Triple Berry Breakfast Crumble will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls

 After making Blackberry Lime Scones last week, I came up with about fifteen new berry-based recipes to make between now and Labor Day, by which time I’ll be ready to ditch summer fruit for pumpkin. Probably. I dont think I could ever get tired of fresh summer produce.

First on the list? These Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls! Soft pastry filled with lemon-scented raspberries and drizzled with a simple lemon glaze. Served warm (with or without a fork), they’re like a ray of sunshine in breakfast form. That may sound a little ridiculous, but make these and you’ll understand. 

These sweet rolls start with a simple yeast dough. Yes, I just said yeast dough was simple. Yes, I meant to do that. For some unknown reason, yeast remains the most intimidating ingredient in American baking. It really shouldn’t be–there’s nothing to be afraid of. The most nerve-wracking part is proofing (waiting to see if it’s alive), and that’s really no trouble at all. But if it’s still intimidating for you, well, this dough might be the place to start.

You see, the dough for this recipe is made with instant yeast, so there is no waiting for anything to prove. As long as your instant yeast isn’t past the expiration date on the package, it should work just fine! Also, there’s only one rise, so these rolls can be made start-to-finish in less than three hours. The yeast is mixed with all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, and salt. A mixture of warm water, milk, and butter is stirred into the dry ingredients, followed by an egg. Stir until everything is combined and sticky, and then add flour in small increments until a smooth dough forms. Let it rest for ten minutes. The dough may expand a bit, but won’t really rise at this point. 

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (or vaguely rectangular oval, if you’re me 😜). Spread that with softened butter, and then cover the whole thing with frozen raspberries that have been tossed with lemon zest, sugar, salt, and a touch of cornstarch. I know it’s tempting to use fresh raspberries this time of year, but they’re far too juicy for this recipe. 

Roll the raspberry-covered dough into a tight cylinder, and slice it into 1-inch rolls. I know it’s easy to eyeball this, but I recommend using a ruler. I keep one in my kitchen, and I use it way more than I ever would have expected. 

 Place the cut rolls in a lightly-greased square baking dish. Tent the pan loosely with foil, and leave it in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes, until the rolls have doubled in size. I put my rolls in an oven that I’ve preheated to 200F. Once I’ve tented the pan with foil, I turn off the oven and put the pan in there. In about an hour, my rolls are risen. Works every time!Uncover the risen rolls, and bake in a 375F oven for 25-30 minutes, until puffy and golden. Tent them with foil again if they’re starting to brown too quickly (mine were at the corners). Let the rolls cool for a few minutes while you mix together an easy lemon glaze. Drizzle that over the warm rolls and dig in! 

Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls are like summer in breakfast form! They’re perfect for brunch, end-of-school gifts for teachers, or just because you want something more interesting than your usual granola for breakfast. They’d be a fantastic way to start Memorial Day weekend, too! 

 Looking more more sweet rolls? Check out my Mini Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls (no yeast required!) and Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls!

Looking for more raspberry breakfast recipes? Check out my Overnight Raspberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast Bake!

Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls
makes about 12 rolls

Dough:
1 1/4-1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour*
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 packet instant yeast* (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk (I use whole milk)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, room temperature

Filling:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries* (not thawed)
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the dough. Set aside 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, bread flour, granulated sugar, salt, and yeast. In a small saucepan*, heat water, milk, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter over low heat until the mixture reaches 115F. Remove from heat and stir into the flour mixture. Stir in egg. Add reserved all-purpose flour in 2 tablespoon increments until the dough is smooth and soft*, pulling away from the side of the bowl when stirred. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling. Place frozen raspberries and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Use clean fingers to rub the zest into the sugar and salt until it is all well-mixed and fragrant. Add lemon-sugar mixture to raspberries, and toss until everything is combined.

Grease a 9-inch square baking dish. Set aside. Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll dough into an 8″x14″ rectangle. Spread softened butter over the entire surface of the dough. Spread raspberry mixture over the softened butter.

Starting at the long edge of the dough furthest from your body, roll the dough tightly toward yourself until you have one long cylinder. Using a large, sharp knife (not serrated) cut 1-inch rolls. Place cut rolls close together in prepared baking dish. Loosely tent with foil. Place rolls in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 60-90 minutes, until they have doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Uncover risen rolls. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tenting with foil again at 10 minutes if the tops are getting too brown. Let rolls cool on a rack for ten minutes.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar and salt. Use a fork to whisk in lemon juice and vanilla. Add more confectioner’s sugar or lemon juice until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm rolls.

Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls are best enjoyed the day they are made, but may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.

Notes:

1. If you do not have bread flour, all purpose flour may be substituted. Your rolls may not be as soft and chewy as if you’d used the bread flour, but they will still be delicious.
2. I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Instant Yeast.
3. Do not use fresh raspberries for this recipe. They are too juicy to work well here.
4. I usually need 6 tablespoons of the reserved flour to achieve the desired consistency.