Cook to Cook: You can prepare strawberries or blackberries the same way, but raspberries seem to do and taste best. Edna Lewis brought a conviction and honesty to her food that few have touched.
Late in life she started working with young chef Scott Peacock; together they co-authored The Gift of Southern Cooking. On the show Scott told us about this old method for preserving fruit, which keeps its taste fresh because there is no cooking involved.
Scott wrote in their book, "Miss Lewis gave me a jar of sugared raspberries -- the first I'd ever seen -- when I visited her one springtime. The following December, at my birthday dinner, I served them as an accompaniment to roast chicken and yeast rolls -- very Southern and very delicious."
These will keep for a year or longer in the refrigerator.
- 2 cups (about 1 pound) fresh, unblemished raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
1. Carefully pick over the berries, removing any leaves, foreign objects, or spoiled berries. Put the berries in a mixing bowl, and pour the sugar over them. Use two large forks or a potato masher to mash the sugar into the raspberries until they are liquefied and no trace of whole berries is left (a blender is not good for this, because it will pulverize some of the raspberries seeds, which should remain intact).
2. Transfer the mashed berries to jars and refrigerate for at least 2 days before using. Stashed in the refrigerator, these berries are manna from heaven in January. Eat them straight by the spoonful or on bread, cake or ice cream.