Heaven may be having raspberry bushes in the back yard. I mean, who doesn’t love raspberries, right? But loving raspberries takes on a whole new meaning when they’re abundant and you can pick them off the branch warmed by the sun. We have both golden and red raspberries, and I’ve noticed the difference in flavor until I first experienced the ones in our yard. The red ones are definitely sweeter, and the golden ones are a little tangy.
What happens is that towards the end of August / beginning of September, we pick about a pound of raspberries every few days. A POUND! At first, we just eat them and freeze some. Then, after eating fresh raspberries every single day, I start wondering what I can make with them. Last year, I made several Raspberry-Coconut Crisps. Too bad I wasn’t blogging then to share those with you. This year, I’ve been wanting something more creative, but something that would highlight the raspberries – I didn’t want them playing a supporting role in anything. They’re too good for that. So when I found this Raspberry Tart recipe, I thought it was perfect. I veganized it, which wasn’t too hard, and probably tripled the amount of raspberries in it. Instead of neatly placing the berries on a single layer, I packed them into probably about 3 layers. The crust is perfectly flakey and buttery, and the raspberries shine.
For the next pound of raspberries, someone mentioned cupcakes. Of course! I am obsessed with cupcakes. I love making vegan cupcakes and feeding them to non-vegans who scowl at first, and then go back for seconds. Seems like the idea of veganism becomes palatable to people after they’ve had a vegan cupcake. So, I thought about a lemony-coconut cupcake would work well with the raspberries—they’d compliment and highlight the raspberries rather than take over. I found a recipe for Coconut Lime Cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World which I easily modified to Coconut Lemon and mixed in a bunch of raspberries just before baking them. (By the way, vegan or not, if you’re into cupcakes, you should get this book – it’s amazing) Then I improvised a raspberry frosting, because I couldn’t find a frosting recipe that uses fresh raspberries. All the recipes I found use raspberry jam or syrup, and now I know why. I ended up just crushing about a cup of raspberries and adding them to the basic Vanilla Buttercream recipe in the Vegan Cupcake book. The issue is that frosting is made of fat (shortening/margarine) and sugar, so when you add something waterbased, like a raspberry, the frosting kinda… separates. But it tasted REALLY GOOD. So I mixed it as best I could and shoved it in the freezer. This frosting only works if you take it out of the freezer and put it on the cupcake just before you eat it. They might not be the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever made, but I think they’re the most heavenly!
The raspberry bush is not done yet, so I’ll keep you posted with my next concoctions!