The red berries of British summertime are something every cook looks forward to working with. Raspberries are a particularly sought after ingredient thanks to their intense tart, sweet flavour, whether eaten straight from the punnet or used in all sorts of delicious desserts. Adam Gray – head chef at the beautiful Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell – includes them on his menu the second they’re in season. We teamed up with him to host a masterclass at the restaurant’s cookery school so we could find out how best to use the soft fruit at home.
‘The first dish I’ll be demonstrating is a raspberry salad with cracked black pepper – something you wouldn’t normally think of – to give the fruit a bit of a kick,’ says Adam. ‘With that I’m adding fresh mint and a bit of raspberry coulis made with sugar syrup. It’s served inside a soft meringue with lemon curd inside, which works well as raspberries and lemons are both quite tart and sweet, with custard and a raspberry sorbet on the side.
‘The other dish is a classic raspberry Bakewell tart topped with fresh raspberries glazed with an apricot jam,’ he continues. ‘It’s a very classic dish but by using fresh fruit rather than jam it showcases how nice raspberries can taste.’
Traditional British desserts seem to suit raspberries best, as the fruit’s natural flavour is allowed to shine through. The final dish Adam prepared on the day was a raspberry jelly. ‘I just put the fruit in a bowl, cover it in cling film then place it on top of a pan of boiling water for a few hours,’ he explains. ‘All the juices come out of the raspberries, which I then strain through muslin and set with gelatine.