Sunday, August 10, 2008

From the Farm: Raspberries

In this week's CSA farm share I received some gorgeous, plump raspberries. I decided I'd better use them quickly, since they are delicate and don’t last very long. Raspberries usually will start to get moldy after only a day or so, but I've found you can extend their life a bit if you refrain from washing them right away and keep them refrigerated. However, be sure to thoroughly wash them just before eating, as berries tend to be heavily sprayed. Therefore, look for organic berries whenever possible.
My two little ones gobbled up most of the fresh berries, but I managed to save a handful for a simple hors d’oeurve. This recipe takes only a matter of minutes to prepare, but never fails to impress (I have to give a shout-out to my friend KD, who gave me this idea).
By slicing off the very top of a mini wheel of brie (try goat’s milk brie if you can find it—it is delicious!), you create a little canvas for some food-art: spread a tablespoon or so of your favorite preserves on the cut surface (I like to use apricot), and use the fresh raspberries to make a little design on top. Pop in the oven to get the cheese all oozy and delicious, and serve with crackers or thinly sliced baguette. It’s a great excuse to have a girls night in!

Baked Brie with Raspberries

Serves 4-6

1 - 4 to 6 oz wheel of brie

1 tablespoon preserves or marmalade (apricot, raspberry, or your favorite)

10-12 whole fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Carefully slice off the thin papery layer on top of the brie, exposing the cheese interior.

Spread preserves over cut side of the brie.

Arrange the raspberries (bottom-side facing up) on the brie, using the preserves as a sort of “glue”.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is softened and warm.

Serve with crackers or thinly sliced baguette.

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