Sugared raspberries are an elegant touch for any dessert. They are at once crunchy and soft, bursting with sweetness and natural flavor. They are a real surprise when you bite into one and the liquid juices meld with crystals of sugar. Best of all, you can apply this same technique to other seasonal fruits: Blueberries, Italian plums, blackberries, even rose petals are wonderful when sugared. You don't need very many of these sparkling sweets — they are very potent. Read on for step-by-step photos and instructions on how to make these easy treats.
This how-to was actually inspired by a reader request. Jaimi wrote to us asking:
My husband and I just had the best meal of our lives at Saison in San Francisco. We could not dream of recreating the chef's food, but we do think we could attempt the "crispy raspberries" that came with the bill as a last little treat. The server told us that the fresh raspberries had been dipped in egg whites and coated with sugar. They had not been cooked, they were crunchy, sweet, and full of delicious raspberry flavor. Any tips for how we can make these at home? They would make a superb summertime evening snack.
Indeed! I agree. Sugared fruits don't take long to make, but they do require a little advanced planning because they take a few hours to set. Once you've got the technique down, you'll be turning any little morsel in the kitchen into a candied, crunchy sweet to impress guests. It's a repetitive, relaxing task with a big payoff several hours later. Just turn on the music and you're set!
What You Need
1 cup of raspberries (or other whole, small summer fruit such as blueberries, small strawberries or blackberries)
1 egg white
1/2 cup sanding sugar (I used light pink, but white works perfectly well)
Clean paint brush or small pastry brush
1. Select the firmest, plumpest raspberries to work with. This will help the final berries retain their shape and they'll be less likely to turn into a juicy, sugar puddle.
2. Lightly paint egg white onto entire outer surface of raspberry. Make sure to get the base and the top of the berry completely covered. I don't recommend dipping the fruit into the egg white; it becomes messy and doesn't turn out as well.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup sanding sugar onto a plate to use for sugaring. Note: I used pink sanding sugar, but white or some other subtle color both produce beautiful results. You cannot tell the sugar was pink in the final product.
4. Place fruit on plate and sprinkle with sugar. Gently rolling the raspberry in sugar works too. Just be careful not to squeeze or push too hard, breaking the berry.
5. Coat the raspberry in sugar as evenly as possible.
6. Dry sugared raspberries on a parchment-lined baking tray for 4 to 8 hours, resting the fruits in a cool, dry place. Humidity will affect this process, so if your home is very humid, you may want to try this recipe later in the fall season.
7. Enjoy just a few berries as a garnish to any dessert (they are very sweet and strong!). I served my sugared raspberries with slices of angel food cake smeared with lemon curd, a delightful combination!
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)