Recipe For Health
By Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: Raspberries Yield: Makes 8 servings Learn more about Raspberries

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
  • ½ c. water, divided
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 1 packet (1 T) powdered gelatin or 1 ½ T vegan gel
  • 2 t. white balsamic vinegar
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • ½ c. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 (17.3 oz.) box (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 t. sugar

Preparation

Put raspberries, ¼ c. water, and brown sugar in a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Decrease heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle gelatin or vegan gel over ¼ c. of cold water. Let stand for 1 minute. Then add gel water, vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the raspberry pot. Let simmer for 2 minute. Remove from heat and let cool in fridge for minimum 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Make sure puff pastry is at room temperature. Cut each puff pastry sheet into 4 squares. Move the 8 squares of puff pastry onto the prepared sheet tray. Place 1 T. of mascarpone cheese and 3 T. raspberry sauce in the center of each pastry piece.

Seal each turnover: Use pastry brush dipped in water to wet the edges of the puff pastry. Then slightly stretch one corner and adjoining sides; fold on the diagonal to form a triangle. Press the edges down well. Use a fork to press and crimp the edges. Make sure edges are sealed. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut a little slit in the top, no more than an inch.

Lightly brush the tops with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Put sheet tray in preheated oven for 14-18 minutes until pastry dough is golden light brown.

Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Note some of the filling may have oozed out. That’s okay! Scoop it and any extra sauce onto a plate and serve.

These can be made ahead! Freeze unbaked turnovers on a sheet tray. Once frozen, transfer to freezer storage bag and return to freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place frozen turnovers on lined sheet tray and follow the same baking instructions.

Learn More About Raspberries

Red raspberries are the fall berry we so long for. Plump, juicy, and perfectly sweet-tart, we’ll just have to forgive their many seeds. Seediness is just part of the character of aggregate fruits. Each raspberry blossom develops into multiple little bead-like pockets called drupes—100 to 120 drupes per berry, each with its own seed. Now that’s a lot of seeds!

As a member of the rose family, raspberries grow on thorny canes. Depending on the variety and how the canes are managed, the canes produce berries in summer or fall. Summer-bearing varieties are red, black, yellow, orange, or purple. Fall-bearing varieties produce red berries; some produce yellow berries, a genetic variant of red.

When choosing raspberries, look for plump, brightly colored berries with a soft, hazy gloss. Raspberries have tiny hairs on them called styles. These are natural, and don’t affect the taste or ripeness of the berries. Raspberries do not ripen after picking. Put them right in the fridge and use or freeze within a day or two.

To wash, or not to wash, that is the question. It’s tempting to give a quick rinse to fresh produce as it enters your house. I advise you against it. Washing removes nature’s protective coating. And water on the surface encourages bacterial growth. In general, wait to wash until just before use. Except with raspberries. It’s best not to wash or rinse them. Raspberries are the most delicate of all fruits. Any water on their many surfaces gets quickly absorbed making them soggy, and shortens their already short lifespan.

If you want a year round supply of flavorful in-season raspberries, consider freezing some. It’s so easy to do. Carefully empty the containers of berries on a sheet tray. Pick off any stems or leaves (or bugs!) and discard berries that show signs of mold. Place the tray in the freezer. Once frozen, put them in zipper lock freezer bags and label. Use within a year. They’re perfect for smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods.

Peggy Crum MA, RD

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