Before we get to the Raspberry Cream recipe, here’s what you need to know about the festival of Midsummer (24 June). Traditionally, it’s a time of divination and a time to gather flowers and herbs while they’re at their most potent evil-bashing capability. There are several Midsummer activities you can try–wear a floral crown to ward off mischievous spirits and put a garland around your cow’s neck for the same purpose (don’t tell me you don’t have a cow!); go out and pick St John’s Wort and place a sprig above your front door to repel evil; burn a fire of Rowan branches to protect yourself from witchcraft. However, if you’re in the mood for a little witchcraft yourself, you can use a black velvet pincushion (everyone has one lying around, right?) to tell your future. Just stick tiny pins spelling out your name on one side of the pincushion and a design of a cross-quartered circle on the other. Place this fortune-telling pincushion in your right stocking and hang it off the foot of your bed. Supposedly, you’ll see your entire future in a dream.*
I don’t much go in for fortune telling, but if there’s Raspberry Cream in your future, you’re going to have a good time. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s delicious. The only work is making sure your raspberries are top-notch–everything else (brandy! sugar! cream!) is just a bonus. If you’ve ever had Cranachan, Raspberry Cream is like a Cornish version.
4 ounces (115 g) raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons brandy
1/4 cup heavy cream / 65 ml double cream
Gently wash the raspberries and leave them out on a towel to dry. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the brandy. Put the mixing bowl in the fridge.
When the raspberries are dry, get the mixing bowl out and add the heavy cream to the sugar/brandy combination and beat until the cream holds soft peaks. Either divide the raspberries between two glasses and top with cream, or gently stir the raspberries into the cream and then mound in glasses.
Adapted from The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook.
*This came from the always-fascinating Cattern Cakes and Lace: A Calendar of Feasts.