Chow Town

Lemon cream pie perfect for ripe raspberries in season now

Lemon Raspberry Cream Pie
Lemon Raspberry Cream Pie Special to The Star

“Raspberries are a high-value crop due to their unique flavor, exacting climatic requirements, high costs of production, and perishability.” — “Raspberries and Related Fruit” by Marvin Pritts, department of horticulture, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ithaca, NY.

Hold the phone! I think it’s me, in fruit form. If my hair could only be the light magenta of a raspberry, I would be in business. I’m making that call to my stylist.

Raspberries are sweet and delicate with the right amount of sass to hold their own flavor. The velvety soft berries have a thin, deep fuchsia skin and sugary inside. Being a relative of the rose plant, the berry has a delightful perfume with a touch of sweet, while a bright acidity rounds out the little gems.

Hands down my favorite way to enjoy these beautiful, fragile, sassy berries is simply one at a time while sipping on Champagne on my back patio wearing a sundress. (Sigh. Thinking of the one day in an entire year that actually happens.)

When I was young, my mom made the mistake of sharing the beautiful flavor of raspberry in a Bavarian mousse dessert. Little did I know that this dessert took every pot and pan and mixing bowl in the kitchen. Naturally, it became my favorite.

Now understanding the value of time, I have found a very simple dessert based on a lemon curd pie shared by Donna Hay.

Lemon Raspberry Cream Pie

Makes 5 individual pie/tartlets or 1 large 9-inch tart

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup coconut, sweetened and shredded

4 tablespoons salted butter, melted or softened

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 zest of lemon

3/4 cup fresh raspberries

Sour cream, additional lemon zest and powdered sugar for garnish, optional

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray individual pie or crème brule or tartlet pans with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a blender except for the raspberries. Blend on medium to medium high until completely smooth. Pour batter into each individual pie dish. Distribute the raspberries evenly on each pie. Then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the center is firm and set. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes and then refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother Nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.