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Regal raspberries: Thomsen’s desserts showcase favorite fall fruit

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

Farm News staff writerJEFFERSON – While it’s not unusual for certain raspberry varieties to bear fruit into September, Pam Thomsen was amazed that this year’s harvest at her family’s farm located in central Greene County extended into mid October. “We started picking raspberries on June 26 and just kept harvesting all summer and fall,” said Thomsen, who lives just east of Jefferson, where she and her husband, Larry, raise black, purple and red raspberries on about two acres of land. “Now I’ve got plenty of raspberries in the freezer to last all winter.” In Iowa, a yield of 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of raspberries per acre is typical. To use up all those raspberries, which are an outgrowth of a value-added agriculture enterprise started by the Thomsen’s daughter, Paige, the couple runs a “u-pick” raspberry business. Pam also makes jams and jellies, as well as raspberry-filled baked goods, which she sells direct from the farm and at the weekly farmers market in Jefferson. Her famous lemon raspberry muffins remain one of her best sellers. “People want to know where their food comes from, and we had a lot more berries purchased off the farm this year,” said Pam Thomsen, who has worked as a secretary at the local elementary school for 23 years and also bakes and decorates cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. To help customers pick up some new ideas for serving raspberries, Thomsen has published her own raspberry-themed cookbook, which includes the following favorites:Lemon raspberry muffins2 cups flour1 cup sugar3 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup half & half1/2 cup vegetable oil2 eggs 1 teaspoon lemon extract or bottled lemon juice1 cup fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries without syrup (do not thaw frozen raspberries) Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place paper baking cups in an large, 8-cup muffin pan or 12-cup muffin pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level off. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine half and half, vegetable oil, eggs and lemon extract or lemon juice. (If using bottled lemon juice rather than lemon extract, use slightly more than 1 teaspoon.) Blend well.Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Carefully fold in raspberries. Divide batter evenly into paper-lined cups. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Raspberry bars1 cup butter, softened1/3 cup sugar2 egg yolks2 cups flour1 cup raspberry jam or jelly4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar1/2 cup walnuts, choppedCream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Stir in flour, a half a cup at a time. Press half of the dough into a 9-inch-square baking pan. Spread with jam and top with remaining dough.Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and walnuts. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. When cool, cut into bars.Raspberry streusel coffee cakeWhile you can bake this sweet treat in a standard baking pan, you can also use mini loaf pans for a fun twist. 3 1/2 cup unsweetened raspberries1 cup water2 tablespoons lemon juice1 1/4 cups sugar1/3 cup cornstarchBatter:3 cups flour1 cup sugar1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda1 cup cold butter2 eggs, lightly beaten1 cup sour cream1 teaspoon vanillaTopping:1/2 cup flour1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup butter, softened1/2 cup pecansGlaze:1/2 cup powdered sugar2 teaspoons milk1/2 teaspoon vanillaIn a large saucepan, cook raspberries and water over medium heat for five minutes. Add lemon juice. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into fruit mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Cool.In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking mid-40s and lows in the soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. (Batter will be stiff.) Spread half of batter into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Spread raspberry filling over batter. Spoon remaining batter over filling. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle glaze over warm cake. Raspberry strippers 1/4 cup sugar5 tablespoons butter1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla1 large egg, separated1 cup flour2 tablespoons cornstarch1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon saltcooking spray1/3 cup raspberry jelly1/2 cup powdered sugar2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice1/4 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat sugar and butter. Add vanilla and egg white. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. (Mixture will be thick.)Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12-inch log. Place logs three inches apart on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Form 1/2-inch deep indentation down the length of each log, using an index finger or the end of a wooden spoon. Spoon raspberry jelly into the center. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and almond extract. Drizzle sugar mixture over warm logs. Contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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