We are now in the thick of raspberry season around here and I for one couldn't be happier. I love them in everything. And as you know, berries you picked yourself are a whole heck of a lot better then berries you get at the grocery store. They have a sweeter, deeper flavor and a slightly floral scent. They make your eyes roll into the back of your head, especially when they're still warm from the sun. With that in mind, my friend and I decided to venture out this past Sunday morning and load up.
When we drove up to the orchard my friend had picked there was a sign on the closed gates saying they were closed, so we'll have to try them again next year. I, however, had a backup plan. I found a place about 20 minutes away that had great prices and very flexible hours. Up Berries operates on the honor system, leaving containers and instructions for visitors along with a lock-box to leave money, which makes them open as long as the sun is out.
As you drive up, there's a house and a beautiful old barn by the parking area:
and since I had my camera handy...
But on to the important things: the berries! There was only one other family that was out there picking when we got there, and the bushes were full of ripe berries. What I hadn't counted on was the bugs. Now I don't really mind the beetles and bumblebees, but I cannot stand mosquitoes. It would be an irrational hatred if they didn't treat our every encounter as an attempt to suck me dry.
An hour and a half later, my friend and I each had full baskets and were ready to go. I had killed about a dozen mosquitoes, but they won this round...I came home with at least 30 bites. We had a lot of fun though and even when our baskets were full we couldn't help stop along the way back to the car to pick just one more...and just another one...and look at that ripe one over there!
I have plans for jam and pastries, but the first thing I wanted to make was ice cream. When I saw the "I ate it all myself" review for Chocolate Raspberry ice cream at Sea Salt With Food, I knew I had to try it.
Whoa nelly! This is good stuff. I already promised to share it, but if I didn't you'd find me in a dark corner somewhere in my house with a tub of this ice cream and a spoon, whispering "my preccccioussss".
Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream
via Sea Salt With Food
1 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
5 Tbsp Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Raspberries, I used fresh, but frozen would be just fine too.
- Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the raspberries. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. If you wish, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds. I was too lazy and skipped this step, but I think next time I will actually do it. The texture would be so much smoother without the little raspberry bits.
- Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly, then freeze it in an ice cream maker.