Here's an old method for preserving fruit with a very fresh taste without cooking. The juicy crushed berries make a nice spread with bread, and a delicious filling for cake. But this kind of sweet preserve also has a place on the dinner table. Miss Lewis gave me a jar of sugared raspberries—the first I'd ever seen—when I visited her one springtime soon after we met. The following December, at my birthday dinner, I served them as an accompaniment to roast chicken and yeast rolls—very Southern and very delicious.
Sugared berries will keep for a year or longer under refrigeration. You can prepare strawberries or blackberries the same way but raspberries seem to do and taste best.

  • 2 cups fresh, unblemished raspberries (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

1. Carefully pick over the berries, removing any leaves, foreign objects, or spoiled berries.

2. Put the berries in a mixing bowl, and pour the sugar over them.

3. Use two large forks or a potato masher to mash the sugar into the raspberries until they are liquefied and there is no trace of whole berries left. (A blender is not good for this, because it will pulverize some of the raspberry seeds, which should remain intact.)

4. Transfer to jars and refrigerate for 2 days before using. Sugared raspberries will keep for 1 year or longer under refrigeration.

From The Gift of Southern Cooking. Copyright 2003 by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock (Knopf, 2003).