Raspberries are from the Rosaceae family; like quince they are delightfully perfumed with hints of rose when ripe, they grow as do strawberries in a patch and are my favourite berry. They are the perfect combination of sweet and tart, a delicate fruit with a soft texture like smooth velvet but be warned, when one in a punnet becomes mouldy, it can be quickly contagious.
Raspberries play happily with vanilla, dairy and nuts, particularly hazelnuts, and love mingling with other berries. They are most often an excellent ruby red colour, although there are lesser-known golden and black cultivars – only confusing when naming something raspberry coloured, like a beret for example.
Raspberries are best eaten fresh, though they are excellent in a sorbet, and raspberry jam is one of the finest, perfect with scones and cream. They’re an excellent berry to layer between a sponge, and peach melba is a great classic although I feel it is responsible for the 90s obsession with raspberry coulis, which got a little out of hand.
If you want to turn them into a liquid, they are great in a smoothie, easily made into raspberry vinegar and, evident of my teenage years, outstanding in a daiquiri. A quick mention also to Bickford’s raspberry cordial, the best of all the fake flavours and the perfect hangover cure.
Make O Tama's raspberry recipes
This is a simple and delicate dessert, easy to make, with few ingredients. Somehow it’s far greater than its parts, combining to give a light yet decadent flavour.
A very easy dessert that is decadent and rich. Milk chocolate is a gentle and creamy match for the raspberries without overpowering them. There’s a little dark chocolate to provide a subtle hint of bitterness and a touch of salt for excitement.
Hot summer afternoons are perfect for cups of tea in the garden under the shade of a tree with a delicate little sweet treat. Here is that perfect morsel.
A slushie is the perfect drink for a hot summer night; icy cold and refreshing. This is an excellent grown-up version. Be careful, though, the lurid colour and its sweet deliciousness can trick you into forgetting this drink is laden with booze.
Photography by Benito Martin. Food styling by O Tama Carey. Prop styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.
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