Aunt Kitty’s Raspberry Dessert
Aunt Kitty was my father’s sister. She and her husband Frank, lived in the same town as my family and once in awhile we would be invited for dinner.
Kitty was a really good cook. Her meals were not exotic or gourmet, just really good food cooked exceptionally well. Her true love, though, was gardening. They had a fairly large glass greenhouse attached to the house, where she grew flowers year round and plants for outside in the spring. She had a beautiful border garden where she grew all kinds of perennials, annuals and bulbs. She also grew raspberries. I remember going over to her house with our daughter, who was maybe 2 or 3 at the time, and we would tour the garden before going inside for tea. She showed me her raspberries, covered in mesh to keep the birds away. It was always a fight for the raspberries. I think my Aunt won.
When she harvested the raspberries, she would make jam or jelly and then freeze the rest. The frozen raspberries were for this dessert. When we went for dinner at her house, ocassionally she would serve it. It was delicious. I finally asked her one day how she made it. “Oh, it’s really 2 desserts put together. This is how it goes……” and I proceeded to write down the recipe.
Aunt Kitty’s Raspberry Dessert
2, 12 ounce packages of frozen raspberries, thawed completely
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Take half the thawed raspberries and put them in a medium strainer over a medium bowl. Press on the raspberries with the back of a large ladle. Juice will strain into the bowl. Under the strainer will be some pulpy juice that hasn’t gone into the bowl. Very carefully scrape this into the bowl, as well. (you are trying to get rid of the seeds) Scrape out the strainer of seeds and repeat with the other half of the raspberries. Scrape out the seeds again from the strainer. Strain the whole mixture , getting out more seeds. You should end up with 1 cup of very well strained crushed raspberries.
Getting ready to crush the raspberries:
Crushing raspberries with large ladle:
The result of all your efforts:
In a medium sauce pan, put the crushed strained raspberries, egg yolks, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Cook over medium low heat, stirring until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Pour into a medium glass bowl.
In a small bowl, combine and stir until dissolved:
2 tablespoons hot raspberry juice (I can only find cranberry/raspberry juice, which is what I use)
4 tablespoon raspberry flavored gelatin (this is raspberry jello)
Add the above mixture to the crushed strained raspberry mixture and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and let cool until partially set. This will take about 1-2 hours (check after 1 hour) and the consistency should be like a soupy pudding.
Something like this:
Beat this mixture with:
1/2 cup of heavy cream
In another very clean bowl, put:
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
Beat with a mixer until soft peaks form. Then gradually add:
6 tablespoons of sugar
Carefully fold the above meringue into the raspberry/cream mixture.
The end result:
2, 3 ounce packages of Ladyfingers
In an 8 inch spring form pan (the smallest I have is a 9-1/2 inch which is fine) line the bottom and sides with Ladyfingers.
I found these in Hannafords, which always has them. Most supermarkets carry them:
Lined in the spring form pan:
Usually one package takes care of the bottom and one package takes care of the sides.
Pour the raspberry/cream/meringue mixture into the ladyfinger lined spring form pan:
Cover with Saran Wrap and then aluminum foil. Chill at least 2 hours but can be made up to 2 days in advance. ( I highly recommend making it in advance. Take advantage of this tip.)
When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream.
My desire has always been to make a sponge cake instead of using the Ladyfingers to line the spring form pan.
I tried. But unfortunately I was not successful.
My first attempt, I forgot to spray the wax paper lined sheet pan. The cake stuck.
Not a pretty site but it was tasty!
I didn’t give up and made another one. For some reason, I put the next batter in a smaller sheet pan, why I have no idea. The cake was thicker and there wasn’t enough to line the pan. So I tried to combine the two mistakes to line the pan. Well, that didn’t work either. It was a mess.
I went to Hannafords and bought Ladyfingers. I was not going to make another cake.
But I am still determined to make a spongecake to line the pan. It will definitely enhance the dessert. So stay tuned for Part II of the recipe in the future!!