Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Raspberry Delight

Raspberry Delight

Dorcas Annette Walker

Raspberries have a sweet mild tart taste with an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. Any dessert made with raspberries immediately becomes elegant. I love raspberries and started a patch of raspberry vines several years ago beside our orchard. I was surprised at how easy it was to grow raspberries. Since then I’ve made up raspberry jams and keep frozen raspberries for toppings and sauces. Whenever I see the price of raspberries in the store, due to being one of the most limited and perishable fruits, I am doubly thankful for my raspberry patch out back.

Red raspberries are a native berry to Turkey and Asia Minor. History says that there were raspberry vines growing in the foothills of Troy in the first century. The Romans are thought to have spread raspberries throughout Europe. In Medieval Europe, raspberries were considered to be both medicinal and utilitarian, although only the rich could afford them. By the Middle Ages raspberries were used for food, wine, vinegar, sweets, jams and even employed in art for paintings and illuminating manuscripts, but it wasn’t until the seventeenth century that raspberries became popular. When settlers came to America they found the Native Americans eating and drying the berries for preservation and ease of transportation. In 1761 George Washington moved to Mount Vernon where he began to cultivate raspberries in his extensive gardens. By 1867 over 40 different varieties of raspberries were known.

The raspberry bush or vine grows up to three feet in height and comes in colors of red, yellow, orange, purple, or black. 60-70 pints of fruit can be harvested from early summer through fall in a 100 foot row. Today there are over 200 species of raspberries that can be grown from the Arctic to the equator. The leading producing regions for raspberries are Washington, Oregon, and California with Washington accounting for nearly 60% of U.S. production at nearly 70 million pounds per year. Raspberries are purported to fight cancer and heart disease and offer many health benefits. They are high in Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, Niacin, mineral, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium.

My Raspberry Delight has raspberry jello on top of a cream cheese mixture with a rich nutty crust underneath. This light dessert is a feast for the eyes and palate. The Raspberry Delight takes only three steps to make and can be made up the day before. Preparation time for my Raspberry Delight takes about an hour and this recipe serves sixteen.

Raspberry Delight

1c self-rising flour
¼ c brown sugar
½ c chopped pecans
½ c melted margarine
2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container cool whip
1 c sugar
2 (3 oz) pkg raspberry jello
2 c boiling water
ice cubes

Step 1: Mix together the flour, brown sugar, pecans, and melted butter and press in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350ยบ for fifteen minutes and cool.

Step 2: Beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the cool whip and mix until smooth. Spread over cooled crust.

Step 3: Pour the boiling water over the two pkg of raspberry jello and stir until dissolved. Add ice cubes until the mixture is jelled and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Chill until solid. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh raspberries before serving!

Weekly tip: Fresh raspberries will only keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days if spread out and lined on paper towels. Do not leave raspberries at room temperature or expose them to sunlight as they spoil quickly. Instead freeze raspberries for year round use!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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