Amber colored with a touch of light pink, golden raspberries are a rare find compared to their red and black equivalents. But they’re worth the search.
“They taste like raspberries dipped in honey,” says Cindy Grewett who raises golden raspberries at Kitty Hill Organics, her 14-acre farm in Dowagiac, Michigan, a small town located close to the Indiana-Michigan border.
“Or candied raspberries,” adds her assistant Ashley Morris.
“Have you ever tasted one?” Ron Goldy, Senior Extension Educator at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, Michigan State University, asks me when I call to get more details about golden raspberries and who else might be growing them in Southwest Michigan.
I tell him I have—Grewett sells them at the St. Joseph Farmers Market held on Saturdays on the bluff overlooking the pier and where the St. joseph River flows into Lake Michigan. People also stop by at the farm where she and her husband live in a 150-year-old farmhouse but it’s best to call ahead to make sure she hasn’t sold out.
“They’re sweeter than red raspberries,” I say.
“But they still taste like raspberries,” Goldy says and he’s right.
I’ve never thought of red raspberries as anything but sweet and tasty. Yet compared to goldens they’re tough stuff with a taste that’s stronger and with just a little more bite.
They may be milder and sweeter but goldens are also more fragile than their black and red counterparts and
thus transporting them is a trickier and more expensive proposition as they’re more likely to bruise and crush.
“That’s one reason why people don’t grow them,” says Grewett.
“We know what we know– we all get used to eating things we know and are familiar with like red raspberries,” says Goldy, offering another reason why they aren’t as popular as reds.
There’s truth to that. How many of us have bought kohlrabi lately?
“I don’t know of anyone else growing them in the area,” he adds.
All this makes them more of niche market type of fruit, found more often at farmers’ markets than in stores.
There are other distinctions as well, Grewett explains.
Unlike red and black raspberries that have two growing seasons and often are referred to as everbearing, goldens fruit just once in late August and into September.
When looking for goldens, remember they’re also called by the rather bland name of yellow raspberries and the much more exciting champagne raspberries.
Speaking of that bubbly drink, Maria Neville, owner of Body Logic in downtown St. Joseph suggested adding golden raspberries to a freshly poured glass of champagne, prosecco, or other sparkling wine. It’s about easy as can be except for getting the cork out of the bottle and but the look and taste is both elegant and spectacular. If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, Grewett suggests adding goldens to seltzer water or lemonade.
“That is if you have any left,” she says, noting that they’re so tasty as is, they’re often consumed straight out of the box.
Grewett also likes goldens, a naturally muted strain of red raspberries, because of their health benefits.
“They’re full of vitamins B and C,” she says, adding that they also contain folic acid, iron, copper, and ellagic acid, a phenolic compound thought to prevent cancer. And despite their delicate looks, goldens are a powerhouse of dietary fiber accounting for approximately 20% of its weight.
Eating healthy and raising pesticide-free produce is one reason Grewett left a job as a hostess at Tosi’s Restaurant in Stevensville, Michigan one requiring her to dress in heels and formal wear and become a full-time farmer. She already was growing organic fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs for friends and family as well as for herself but wanted to make it easily available for others as well.
Now, when you stop by the farm, she’s typically wearing old jeans or shorts, t-shirts, thick gloves, and knee-high rubber boots good for mucking around in the dirt and mud.
“When people bring their children here and they see carrots or here and they see carrots or fresh beets growing out of the ground or raspberries on the vine they get so excited,” she says. “I like that they can pick and eat a tomato still warm from the sun and not have to worry about chemicals. It’s a great way to show kids—and adults—the connection to what we grow and what we eat.”
Cindy Grewett’ s Golden Raspberry Custard with Chocolate Sauce
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Place milk, butter and vanilla extract in a saucepan and cook at medium heat until mixture is simmering being sure to stir frequently so mixture doesn’t burn.
Remove mixture from heat before it comes to a boil. Mix cornstarch, sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Return milk and butter mixture to the stove and slowly add cornstarch mixture (if you add too quickly egg yolks will cook), whisking constantly until custard thickens enough to coat the bottom of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Let cool. Top with golden raspberries and then drizzle chocolate sauce over the custard. Serve.
Red and Golden Raspberry White Chocolate Napoleon
Recipe courtesy of Driscoll’s Berries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 ounces chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips (about 2/3 cup)
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup part-skim or reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 1/3 cup each red and golden raspberries
3 sheets filo dough (14 x 18 inches each)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside a second baking sheet and parchment paper of the same size.
Place one sheet of filo on work surface.
Brush with one-third butter and sprinkle with half sugar. Cover with the second sheet of filo, brush with one-third butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Lay third sheet of filo on top and brush with remaining butter. Trim filo edges evenly and cut stack into 18 rectangles, about 2-1/2 x 4-inches each.
Arrange rectangles in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with second piece of parchment and second baking sheet. (Bake in two batches if pieces don’t fit in one pan.) Bake 15 to 17 minutes until filo is golden brown, lifting top baking sheet to check. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Heat white chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl in microwave 60 seconds, or just until chocolate is softened. Stir until melted. Stir in cream cheese and mix until smooth. Stir in ricotta and mix well. Mixture can be prepared up to four hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.
To assemble the layers, spread a thin layer (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) white chocolate and cheese mixture on each of the six filo pieces. Top with about 12 raspberries. Spread a layer of filling on six more filo pieces, place white chocolate side down over raspberries. Repeat filling and raspberries on each napoleon. Reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons white chocolate mixture and set aside.
Spread remaining white chocolate mixture on last six pieces of filo. Place white chocolate side down over berries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and secure a raspberry on top each napoleon with a dab of the reserved white chocolate mixture. Serve within 30 minutes.