DOES the word raspberry evoke ambivalence? The memory of this berry's perfume and flavor makes you regret its short season. But if you are fortunate enough to have access to a raspberry patch, you do not look forward to the sting of the barbed hooks of the raspberry vines. Buying your berries from a market garden or produce counter need not diminish your pleasure. Look for plump berries, free of stems and leaves, neither bruised nor moldy. To store, refrigerate and use within a day or two.
Once, raspberries were strictly a dessert item, but now they are being used in main-dish combinations as well. Raspberries complement chicken and pork successfully, for example. They also team up perfectly with chocolate - mixed into chocolate mousse, perhaps, in a sauce for cake or ice cream, or served whole as a garnish for the dessert plate.
Pork With Fresh Raspberries 6 thick pork chops, trimmed of fat Flour for dredging 5 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons cooking oil 3 medium onions, thinly sliced 2 cups chicken stock (more if necessary) 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Season chops with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge in flour. In ovenproof skillet, heat oil and 3 tablespoons butter. Brown chops on both sides. Remove chops and discard fat.
Line skillet with layer of onions. Top with chops. Add 2 cups chicken stock. Cover and cook in preheated 350-degree F. oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.
Remove chops to platter. Keep them warm. Skim off fat in skillet. Add vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add raspberries (reserve a few for garnish) and mash gently. Boil until slightly thickened. Spoon over chops. Garnish with raspberries. Serves 6.
Fresh Raspberry Tart 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, crushed 1 9-inch baked pastry shell 1 cup whipping cream 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 cups fresh raspberries, halved 3 egg whites 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar and tapioca. Stir in the 11/2 cups crushed berries. Let stand 15 minutes. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Let stand 20 minutes. Cover and chill. Turn chilled berry mixture into cool pastry shell. Beat cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form.
Spread over berry mixture. Arrange fresh berries over cream layer.
For meringue, beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on top, sealing to edge of pastry. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve at once.
Brownies With Fresh Raspberry Sauce 1 pint fresh raspberries 1 to 2 tablespoons superfine sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 4 brownies Whipped cream
Puree all but 1/2 cup of the berries in food processor or blender until smooth. Press through fine sieve to remove seeds, if desired. Add sugar, lemon juice, and stir until sugar dissolves. Divide sauce equally among 4 dessert plates. Top with brownie and garnish with whipped cream and remaining berries. Serves 4.
Raspberry Bavarian Cake 1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin 1/4 cup cold water 2 cups milk 2 eggs, separated 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup fresh raspberries 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
Soften gelatin in water 5 minutes. Scald milk. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Mix egg yolks with sugar and add hot milk gradually. Cook over boiling water 3 minutes until mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat and chill. When mixture begins to thicken, add lemon juice and raspberries. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and whipped cream. Pour into springform pan and chill until firm. Unmold and serve in slices like cake.
Raspberry Swirl Dessert 2 cups buttermilk baking mix 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1 cup confectioners' sugar 1 pound cream cheese, softened 1 cup whipping cream 1 pint fresh raspberries
In mixing bowl, combine mix and 3 tablespoons sugar. With pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press in ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light brown. Cool thoroughly. Beat confectioners' sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Beat cream until stiff and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread in pan over cooled crust. Top with raspberries. Gently swirl raspberries through cream mixture, being careful not to disturb crust. Cover and freeze until firm. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before cutting into 12 squares to serve.