Friday, January 24, 2014

Whole Wheat Raspberry & Cream Crumble

Raspberries are such a happy food. They remind us of summer. And since we have an absolute love affair with sunshine, picnics, long days at the beach, and the occasional glass of wine on a patio or pier – the thought of summer and raspberries – make us very happy.

Raspberries are also one of my comfort foods. It’s an unspoken tradition in my family that when you visit Grandma, you’ll be eating her raspberry “buns” – warm, homemade bread topped with her perfectly sweet raspberry jam. There’s something magical in her jam. It automatically puts me at ease and washes my worries of the outside world away.

And while fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re munching on raspberries, they certainly do pack in a bunch of it! It’s a long-standing joke with Lisa that I’m a bit of nutrition nerd when it comes to fiber. Americans just aren’t getting enough, and with Lisa, I’m hoping to help change that. The average individual in the U.S. is eating less than 15 grams per day – that’s less than half of the daily recommended intake of fiber. 1 cup of raspberries packs in 8 grams of fiber – nearly one-third of your day’s requirements.

Raspberries are also a source of anthocyanins—compounds responsible for producing the bright red, blue-purple, and even black hues found in plants. But, anthocyanins are much more than just a fancy name. These powerful health-promoting pigments, which also boast anti-inflammatory properties, are linked with a long list of health benefits such as cancer protection.

It’s easy to see why we love raspberries. They’re not only delicious, those little berries are packed with some serious nutrition. 

Whole Wheat Raspberry & Cream Crumble

Last weekend, we had some friends over for movie watching and dessert. I made this recipe because raspberries have the wonderful way of pleasing most everyone’s palate. I’m not even going to pretend this “healthier,” whole wheat version of shortcake isn’t decadent – but it’s a perfect dessert for sharing.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup whole milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For raspberry topping
12 oz bag of frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of ½ lemon

For whipped cream
1 cup well-chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make biscuits:
1.      Preheat oven to 450°F.
2.      In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
3.      Add in butter slices.  Knead with your hands until mixture resembles a course meal.
4.      Add buttermilk and stir just until a soft, sticky dough forms.
5.      Drop dough in 6 mounds on dough on an ungreased large baking sheet and bake until golden, about 13 minutes.
6.      Transfer biscuits to a rack and cool for about 10 minutes before eating.

To To make filling:

1.      While biscuits are baking, put frozen raspberries, with sugar and lemon zest in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat.
2.      Stir occasionally. Use your spoon to mash a few raspberries to release their juices.
3.      Remove from the stove after about 10 minutes.

To make the whipped cream:
1.      Beat cream in large bowl with an electric mixer until it starts to slightly thicken.
2.      Add sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat mixture until it holds soft peaks.

To assemble:
1.      Cut biscuits in half horizontally. On the bottom half, layer with a spoonful of whipped cream  and a spoonful (or two!) of berries. Cover with the top of the biscuit.
2.      Top again with a spoonful of whipped cream and a spoonful (or two!) of berries. 

Enjoy, preferably with those you love!

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