This is shaping up to be a fantastic season for fall raspberries. I was busy with a variety of work-related activities during the latter part of last week and, consequently, was away from my little raspberry patch for about four days. When I went out to pick today, the berries were literally dripping off the canes. I picked about 12 cups of berries in a half hour.
Raspberries this fresh are delicate, so I froze about 8 cups of the berries. This is an easy operation: Rinse the berries lightly in water to dislodge any little bugs or what-not that may be on them, let them sit on a towel to dry, then arrange them on a tray and pop it in the freezer. (I put a sheet of wax paper on the tray to make the removal of the frozen berries extra easy.) A few hours later, put the berries in plastic bags and stash them for some winter day when fresh raspberries are $5 a cup in the store or $4.59 for a 2-cup bag frozen. At that point, you can feel frugal and proud.
With some of the remaining raspberries, I decided to make a raspberry fool. I was introduced to fool several years ago when traveling in England for about three weeks with our two girls, then ages 12 and 8. To save money and reduce restaurant time with kids, we ate at least one picnic a day — and these frequently featured the two English dishes my daughters loved best: Fruit fool (packaged in yogurt-like cups) and a pop called Tango. Since then, I’ve made fool whenever we have an abundance of some juicy fruit, such berries or peaches. You can find a variety of recipes in cookbooks and online, but here’s how I do it.
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, crushed
1/2 cup sugar
Juice and some of the zest from 1 lemon
1 cup plain yogurt (your choice on fat level)
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Crush the berries. Then, add the sugar and lemon zest and juice and let it sit a few minutes to juice up. (With raspberries, you can strain the mixture to remove the seeds, if you’d like.) Once this is juicy, add the mixture to the yogurt and stir it until thoroughly combined. Whip the cream, and sweeten it, if you’d like. Gently fold the yogurt-berry mix into the cream. You can serve it with more berries or whatever garnish you’d like.