The past few years my family has made time to go and hand pick raspberries. Let me tell you, they are worth it! They are nothing like what you find in the stores.
Surprisingly, there are many different places close to Tulsa where you can go and pick berries. A great resource for finding a location near you is PickYourOwn.org. All the farms are categorized by Oklahoma counties. We have always gone to Cedar Bluff Raspberries, in Sapulpa, and had great success!
Last Friday was our raspberry picking day this year. We headed out in the afternoon, which wasn’t the best decision since it was hovering around that 100 degree mark. We were handed our wood buckets and we set out to filling them up with plump and juicy berries. I must admit that the ”taste testing” made the heat a little more bearable. I mean, you need to make sure that the berries are good, right?
This year my husband and I picked about five quarts. We like to eat on them for a few days and then freeze a bunch to use throughout the year. The best way to freeze fresh raspberries is to lay them in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer until frozen. Once they are frozen you can store them in any freezer safe container or bag. They are great to pop a few into your morning bowl of granola or cereal.
One of my favorite desserts to make with any fresh fruit is fruit pizza. It’s a quick and easy dessert that is sure to please anyone…and it’s beautiful with all the bright colors.
Here is my family’s recipe:
1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp. milk
Cream margarine and sugar together. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients, vanilla, and milk. Pat dough into baking dish, pan, or pizza stone and bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before adding your toppings.
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 container of cool whip
Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature. Then mix cream cheese and powdered sugar together with a mixer. Fold in cool whip. Spread over cooled cookie crust.
Before adding all the fruit, drain a can of crushed pineapple and spread over your filling. Then top with any fruit of your choice. I love to use fresh when possible. Strawberries, raspberries, black berries, blue berries, kiwi, grapes, mandarine oranges, etc. After the fruit I always sprinkle on a few chocolate chips and nuts.
My parents ended up with ten quarts this year, which means that mom made raspberry freezer jam! I always thought jam would be difficult to make, but after watching her the other night, I quickly learned that it is super easy. You simply follow the directions that come in your “Sure Jell” package. The color is just beautiful!
Hopefully I have inspired you to take some time and pick some berries. If you have any fabulous berry recipes, be sure to send them our way. Happy Picking!