During the Vermont summer we move from one fresh fruit to the next. It’s July and we are now smack in the middle of raspberry season. Up here we have a choice of pick-your-own at a nearby farm or a nearby thicket. Raspberries can also be purchased at farm stands and farmer’s markets. And, yes, they an also be purchased at the local supermarket, but the flavor of these commercial berries is so noticeably inferior, why would we?!
There are so many ways to prepare raspberries—pies, muffins, shortcakes, ice cream, jams (to name a few), but my absolute favorite is Raspberry Slice. I discovered this delectable dessert many years ago in a cookbook published in England—a cherished gift from a friend and my introduction to the delights of European baking.
The elegant presentation of the Raspberry Slice belies its simplicity. The flavor and texture are positively rapturous. No matter how you slice it, Raspberry Slice is absolutely delectable.
Notes for this recipe: When preparing the genoise do not over beat or over mix as this causes the texture to be coarse and increases the chances that the cake will fall during cooling. The genoise can be made one day in advance. To store: cool completely, wrap carefully in plastic wrap, place on an open sided cookie sheet and store in the refrigerator. This dessert is not a keeper and must be eaten within several hours of assembly. Organic heavy cream is recommended due to its superior flavor and whipped texture. Double boiler: make your own using two stainless steel bowls (see the picture below). Cutting and serving: Use a very sharp knife (to cut cleanly) and a cake server (to support the slice during cutting) simultaneously for cutting and serving. Finally, my apologies for the pictures--working alone has its drawbacks!
1 recipe genoise baked in a sheet pan (recipe below)
1 pint heavy cream (preferably organic)
Splash of pure vanilla extract
1 quart fresh raspberries
Cut the genoise into four equal sections each about 4 inches wide. Select a platter for the cake and set aside. Put the heavy cream in a bowl, add the splash of vanilla extract and whip the cream.
Place one section of the genoise on the selected platter and spread with about ¼ of the whipped cream and top with 1/4 of the raspberries.
Repeat with 2 of the 3 remaining layers. Put the last slice of genoise in place and pipe 2 heavy lines of whipped cream down the sides of the slice. Pipe rosettes at each end and around the base of the slice.
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp, unsalted (sweet) butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 8-inch round baking pans or one 11-1/2 x 15-1/2 inch sheet pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper. Set pan(s) aside.
In a bowl over simmering water gently whisk the eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is lukewarm.
When the mixture is lukewarm, remove the bowl to the countertop. Beat the egg and sugar mixture with a hand mixer at high speed until it becomes thick and pale. The mixture will fall in a thick ribbon from a rubber spatula and mound on top of the batter for several seconds before sinking when it is ready.
Sift the flour over the batter and gently fold in, only until it is mixed in. Drizzle the butter over the batter, add the vanilla, and gently fold in only until incorporated.
Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake until the cake pulls away from the edges of the pan, is lightly golden, springs back when gently touched, and tests clean in the center. About 15 to 20 minutes.