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Brown Butter Raspberries

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In Cooking from Every Angle, we hear from our fearless leaders: Food52 co-founders Amanda & Merrill.

Today: Amanda shares a summery dessert with all the flavors of raspberry pie -- no crust needed. 

Brown Butter Raspberries

I created this recipe in honor of EAT (RED), DRINK (RED), SAVE LIVES, a campaign to help fight AIDS (#86AIDS). 

How do you get the flavor of raspberry pie without the pastry dough? It all began with a recipe for tomatoes, in which sliced tomatoes are laid on a plate, doused with sizzling hot browned butter, and showered with flaky salt. The result is hard to describe: rich, juicy tomato that reminds you -- happily -- of lobster with butter sauce.

More: Flaky salt makes everything better -- get to know our 10 favorites

I wondered if the same magical effect would work with summer fruit. Raspberries share some of the same qualities of a fresh tomato – they’re delicate and sweet yet have formidable acidity. I worried that plain browned butter on a raspberry might be odd, so after browning the butter, I dropped in some vanilla – which vaporized in the hot butter, amplifying its scent. Just as I'd done with the tomatoes, I spooned the butter on the raspberries, so it sizzled into the fruit, and then in place of the flaky salt, I sprinkled the wilting berries with raw sugar. I expected it to taste like buttery raspberries, but instead images of pie sprang to mind.

I was also reminded that while I love berries alone, I always feel a little sad when they’re served uncooked for dessert. I have a remedy now. And my next target: peaches. 

Brown Butter Raspberries

Brown Butter Raspberries

Serves 4

16 ounces raspberries
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Raw sugar, about 1/2 teaspoon per bowl, depending on the berries’ sweetness

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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Tags: Amanda & Merrill, Editors' Picks