Razzle Dazzle ‘Em with Raspberry Cream Pie

Looking to expand my cookie recipe collection, I bought a new baking recipe book a couple of weeks ago. I found a beautiful book which boasted over 150 interesting cookie ideas. After reading the book cover-to-cover, I decided to try a layered chocolate biscuit. It was a disaster. The biscuit dough completely and totally fell apart when I rolled it out and there seemed to be no way to salvage it. I really hate wasting anything, so I baked the crumbs of dough anyway figuring that if they tasted good, I’d find a way to put them to good use. Well, they did taste good, and so for several days they sat on the counter in an air-tight container awaiting inspiration.

This past weekend I reached for my tried and true Williams-Sonoma Baking Book. The book fell open to a beautiful picture of a pie with a deep brown cholatey crust and a creamy pink filling. Raspberry cream pie – of course! As luck would have it, we still have a good supply of frozen raspberries from last summer’s berry picking. Raspberries and chocolate are a perfect match, in my book.

What a delight! The look of this lovely pie certainly suggests Valentine’s Day, but any day would be a good day for this light, airy dessert. I think the best way to describe the flavor is to imagine a 50/50 bar, otherwise known as a Dreamcicle – creamy vanilla ice cream in the middle surrounded by a slightly tart, fruit exterior, usually orange. This pie filling has that same creaminess with a slight tang of sour from the fresh raspberries. The crunch of the chocolate crust provides the perfect textural counterbalance. Next time you want to tell someone you love them, make them a raspberry cream pie!

Raspberry Cream Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 package (2 tsp) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2/3 cup natural raspberry juice or fresh raspberry purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Place oven rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350° F (180° C).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine chocolate cookie crumbs, butter, and granulated sugar. Stir until all is evenly mixed.
  3. Press the cookie crumb mixture into bottom of 9-inch pie pan or springform pan.
  4. Bake until firm, about 5 minutes.
  5. Let crust cool on wire rack.
  6. Pour cold water into a saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and let sit until gelatin softens and swells (about 5 minutes).
  7. Heat gelatin over medium heat. Stir until it is clear and fluid.
  8. Stir gelatin mixture into raspberry juice. Set aside.
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and salt until pale yellow. Set aside.
  10. In a large bowl, beat or whisk the cream until thick, soft peaks form.
  11. Add egg mixture to whipped cream. Whip until smooth.
  12. Add raspberry mixture to cream mixture. Whip until smooth.
  13. Pour filling into the crumb crust. Even out with a rubber spatula.
  14. Refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm (4-6 hours).
  15. Let the pie stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
  16. Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.

Raspberry Flaugnarde – Très Délicieux

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Traditionalists might argue that this is a dessert; we say a bakery item made fresh in the morning loaded with fruit and eggs works perfectly for breakfast.

This time of year, the warm, yellow sun may invite thoughts and flavors of Spring. But here in Mongolia, we were greeted this morning with fresh snowfall, prompting me to serve a warm baked breakfast with hot cups of tea. Of course, this baked creation served with French vanilla ice cream or a hot custard would satisfy any time of the day.

Raspberry Flaugnarde

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp cherry flavored brandy
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp Penzeys lemon peel powder (or fresh zest)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch (20 cum x 20 cm) glass baking dish with unsalted butter. Sprinkle bottom of baking dish with 2 tbsp of granulated sugar. Spread raspberries evenly in baking dish.
  3. Using a stick blender, or regular blender, mix 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, milk, brandy, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon powder and salt. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add flour and almonds to mixture. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour mixture evenly over blackberries.
  6. Bake flaugnarde until edges are puffed and golden, and center is firm, about 25-30 minutes. When wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, the flaugnarde is done.
  7. Let cool on wire rack for about 30 minutes.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.