It’s so much fun to go to “pick-your-own” berry farms, but I always pick lots of berries and end up searching for new recipes to use them. Yesterday, I picked some lovely red raspberries, and was pleased when I found a hundred-year-old recipe for Raspberry Nectar. It’s a winner.
The Raspberry Nectar contains both red raspberry juice and lemon juice so the nectar was fairly tart with the delicate essence of raspberry. My husband said that it looked like Kool-Aid – but once we tasted the Raspberry Nectar, we immediately knew that there was no comparison. Raspberry Nectar has the rich nuanced taste of the fresh fruits, and is refreshing on a hot summer day.
Here’s the original recipe:
I’m surprised that the old recipe indicates that the serving size is only 3 1/2 ounces. Somewhere I have some very small juice glasses that I got as a shower gift many year ago – and they may have been about this size. The small serving size makes we wonder if the recipe author considers Raspberry Nectar to be a breakfast drink. Both raspberries and lemons are chock-full of vitamin C, so it would be a good substitute for orange juice. That said, I served this drink mid-afternoon over ice; and, it was a nice change from my usual summer drinks (iced tea and lemonade).
I’m always intrigued by hundred-year-old recipes that include drawings of the finished product since such recipes are few and far between. So when I recently came across a drawing of a beautifully presented recipe for a raspberry dessert called Patties en Surprise in a 1919 advertisement for Minute Tapioca, I decided to give it a try. This dessert is basically puff pastry cut into rounds, and filled with a raspberry and tapioca filling.
Here’s the picture and original recipe:
The verdict: Raspberries Patties en Surprise is a very pretty dessert. The filling is delightfully refreshing with a vibrant, fruity flavor. I had left-over filling after I used all the puff pastry rounds, so I spooned the left-overs into a small dishes – and it was even better than when served with the pastries. I will definitely make the filling again – I may (or may not) make the pastry portion of this recipe again.
Since the original recipe did not provide directions for making puff pastry, I bought a package of puff pastry at the store when I made this dessert rather than making puff pastry from scratch (though I realize this is not a fully authentic way to approach this recipe). Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
1 pint (2 half-pint boxes) red raspberries, crushed (approximately 1 cup pulp)
1/2 cup sugar
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)
Raspberry Filling: Using high heat, bring water to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium and stir in tapioca. Continue cooking while stirring constantly until the tapioca is clear (about 5 minutes); stir in raspberry pulp (including juice) and sugar. Continue cooking and stirring an additional two minutes, then remove from heat and put the mixture into a bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
Pastry Shells: Preheat oven to 400° F. Unroll puff pastry sheets, and cut rounds (approximately 4-inches in diameter) using a cookie cutter (or an inverted water glass can be used as a cutter). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Using a smaller round cutter (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) cut another circle in the center of the large circles of puff pastry dough. (Press firmly when cutting the small circles. It is okay if it goes all the way through. It is more problematic when assembling this recipe if the small circles aren’t cut deeply enough than if they are cut all the way through.). Bake 20 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Remove pastries from baking sheet. Allow to cool before serving.
To Assemble: For each pastry, gently remove the top portion of the small pastry circle. Spoon the chilled raspberry tapioca mixture into the center of the pastry. Put the circular “cap” back on the pastry.