Saffron Raspberries

Saffron Raspberries Recipe

Raspberries are incredibly fragile, which is why, for most of the year, I pass them up. When they're flown in from a far-flung farm, or sit on shelves for any amount of time, I can tell. They get sad, their color darkens, and eventually mold sets in stealthily from the bottom of the basket. The mold. You'll likely discover it after you get the berries home. So, I wait until local berries start showing up at the farmers' market. And it's worth it. I can only hope the raspberries where you live are as impressive as what I'm seeing here right now - basket after basket filled with ruby gems. They have luminescent color, good structure, drupelets filled with sweet raspberry juice, ready to pop. This quick, saffron-sugared raspberry bowl is the best thing I've made with them this year - and you likely have the ingredients on hand. There's a bit of lemon zest, some vanilla bean paste, olive oil, and toasted almonds for contrast to the softness of the raspberries.

Saffron RaspberriesSaffron Raspberries

My sense is this would also be a nice flavor profile for a pie or tart. If the raspberries where you're from rarely look good? Substitute a berry that does - strawberries would taste great here, and I'm imagining a blackberry version could be nice as well. Start with great fruit, and go from there. A dollop of yogurt or sweetened creme fraiche is one way to make it all the more decadent. And one favorite weekend breakfast shaped up to be equal parts saffron berries, Greek yogurt, and Marge's original granola - xo Megan!

Saffron RaspberriesSaffron Raspberries

I do have one regret. Golden raspberries made their annual debut here just about five minutes after I shot these pics. And they'd be perfect. So, if you can get your hands on those, use them :) xo -h

Saffron Raspberries

HS: This preparation was intended for raspberries. That said, if the raspberries you come across aren't great, consider swapping another berry - blackberries might be particularly nice.

1 pound of berries (3 baskets)
1 1/2 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1/16 teaspoon saffron threads (~20 threads)
1 2-inch segment vanilla bean
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a handful of golden raisins (or chopped dates)
1/2 cup / 40 g sliced almonds, toasted
zest of one lemon

Pick over the berries well, discarding any that are off. And brush away any dirt or debris with a damp cloth. Place in a large serving bowl.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind the brown sugar with the saffron threads. Run a knife along the inside of the vanilla bean, to remove the paste, and add that to the saffron sugar as well. Add the olive oil, and stir to combine. Use a spoon to stir in the raisins, almonds, and lemon zest.

Around the time you want to serve this, pour most of the almond mixture over the berries. As gently as you can manage, fold together - folding and jostling the bowl to coat the berries. You want a few of the berries to break up, but not much more than that. Let sit for five minutes or so. Do one last fold, top with the remaining nut mixture, and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 7 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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I love this idea! The line between sweet and savory is one of my favorites to blur.

I haven't seen golden raspberries here yet, but I'll be looking out for them! I bet this would be fantastic with blood orange too!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

I love raspberries and your last comment about golden raspberries appearing right after you took these pics - I have never even had those. Or heard of them. But now I have to have them! Hopefully San Diego has something as good as the Bay Area in that regard!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

Such a delicious use of saffron here. Love the savory and sweet notes :)

Kiran @

Raspberries are my favourite summer berry but you are right, you have to catch them at the right time or they do look and taste a little sad. This looks like a fantastic way to use them and so easy! I love the mix of sweet and savoury flavours.


This sounds awesome! I'd so love to lay my eyes on golden raspberries at least once in my life...

Emma Galloway

how i wish i get raspberries in India and yes i know the mold is mostly discovered only after you get home. Happens with strawberries here mostly!


This is such a brilliant and simple way to savor the berries. I can imagine how beautiful the gold raspberries would be...


How wonderful, I love the idea of the saffron with the raspberry for a perfect flavour contrast.


Beautiful pictures as always and a very nice combination! I've been eating cherries & strawberries for the past 2 weeks! Raspberries haven't arrived here yet, and I doubt they'll ever will...Im in Andalusia you see...but I enjoy them through your pictures, so thank you!

Clara P

The flavours going on here have me salivating! Such a lovely way to serve a seasonal fruit - the perfect way to end a meal I think! A truly inspired idea.


I adore the use the use of saffron with fruits. It has a middle eastern , Arabian night feel for me. Figs are also great with saffron too, the salty sweetness of the seed mix is too addictive.
We only get golden raspberries for 2 months of the year. so rare but they are best raspberries in my opinion

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

This sounds so amazing. Saffron and fruit! I just started seeing better-looking raspberries at the market and will have to try this soon. Thanks, Heidi!


This looks so amazing! I love berries so much, and am missing them during winter.

Alexis @

This sounds like a total delight! I can get good raspberries for a short time during the summer, but I'll definitely save this recipe for then!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

I think the berries this year are just awesome! Even the blueberries are bursting with flavor!

I adore saffron, but never would have thought to put it in a sweet recipe. And that's why I love you :)


Is there anything you won't add toasted almonds to? :)

Not much ;)


What a lovely idea. Our raspberries are coming into season. There is saffron in our pantry, and a beautiful marble pestle and mortar atop our counter that I received as a gift. I know what I will be putting together this weekend after a visit to our farmer's market! Thanks for the wonderful post.

Dan from Platter Talk

Just gorgeous! We've been in berry heaven here in the northeast lately so I definitely see this making it to my breakfast table sometime this week.

Katie (A Fork in Hand)

I would LOVE this with yoghurt, for an indulgent, sophisticated breakfast.

leaf (the indolent cook)

Saffron, my favorite. I love this idea. Only, living in the high mountains makes berries very scarce. Soon, we'll have nice ones from afar though. Can't wait to try this. Thank you!


Beautiful. I can't even think of baking with the raspberries in NY yet. Yesterday I got my first basket and they are those perfect maroon buds only to be enjoyed naked like this and with yogurt! I learned about your no-dunk policy with raspberries via SNE and use it every time! Thanks : )

Salvegging @

This is beautiful! We plan to wild pick all of our raspberries and so each and every one will be special. This is a recipe worthy of the hardwork! I bet it would be awesome with wild strawberries too.



Kelly Turnbull

Saffron and raspberries. Heidi, you never cease to surprise me.

Funny this is the first time I comment on your blog, even though I follow you relentlessly for years.

I love what you do.


I love the contrast in textures and the colors. Always a pleasure to visit this site and learn something new and unique.

Kartik @ Bakeology 101

Love this idea of using safron:-)

La Torontoise

Exciting! Might try half the golden, because their taste is so beautiful, but the red raspberry is just so zingy!


Heidi - sounds fantastic. Do you think it would also work with frozen raspberries?


This sounds like a wonderful recipe I am going to try! I would like to relate a memory that came forth from my childhood while reading ...... I remember going raspberry picking with my parents ... oh how I hated those large spiders .... When we got home my mom would put the raspberries individually on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Then she would bag them. No squashing!


Here in Portugal they're mostly sold in plastic see-through boxes, so you can always tell if the bottom ones are ok or not :) One of my favorite berries and that seems a great recipe! Thanks!


Having grown up on a fruit/veg farm that grew raspberries of the black and red variety, I can attest to the fragility of the berry. Must be picked in the early morning just after the dew has dried, and does not last more than 3 days before the mold sets in. I really wish the soil where I now live was better suited for raspberries, for the best berry is one off of the bush. This combination of saffron and raspberries in inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Kathryn Von Buren

I am so impressed wih the flavor combination!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

I have an organic saffron rose sugar in my shop that would be beautiful in this recipe! Thank you for the inspiration!


Simply delicious. I love this fruit. one of my favorite ingredients for desserts. I'll make your recipe this week,


This sounds lovely, I wouldn't have considered combining saffron with raspberries. When the fruit is at its best, towards the end of our Summer, I tend to freeze them individually so that I have fruit on hand for the Winter. Sounds sort of squirrelish, I know, but it's a good thing!

Lizzy (Good Things)

It's a shame how raspberries mold so easily in the stores. My daughter in law is our designated farmers market person and she makes the trip every week for all of us. Love the way you added toasted almonds to the mix!


hi heidi, this couldn't have come more in perfect a timing! i had a couple of punnets of local (small, tart but fresh) raspberries from a green market and wondering what i'd do with them, and now they found their way in a bowl of saffron- and vanilla-scented goodness. i used it as a topping for tartlets, pairing it with yogurt cream (strained yogurt + heavy cream) and saffron-scented crust. i do think the flavor will be good with blackberries too, and can't wait for them to come around. thanks for being such a great inspiration as always!

HS: Chika, your tartlets are the prettiest. Made my morning!


what an incredibly unique and lovely fusion of flavour

petal and plume

Nice: How about boysenberries? They are so rare to find and there is a berry stand on Stoney Point Road above Petaluma Blvd N in Petaluma. He is the only person in the North Bay who took the time to plant boysenberry vines and they are phenomenal.
I just barely sweeten them and just let them sit. They give off a nectar that dolloped over a cream cheese poundcake is amazing.
If you're up this way or live up here, his stand is open 7 days a week and he has a big sign on the side of the road that says BOYSENBERRYS. I get a pint about every 2 days and he also has the sweetest strawberries in Sonoma County-large and small ones. All the locals gorge on his fruit-he also has some beautiful red onions and other vegetables. No embellishment needed with these berries...

HS: Thanks for the tip Marlena!


Lovely. I can just imagine a spoon of this divinity with creme fraiche, as you said. All kinds of good.
Heidi xo

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

i am so excited! i recently picked up saffron and i've had no idea what to do with this special spice. this seems like the perfect solution!


What a great idea for using saffron, gorgeous


Hey, I love both raspberries and saffron so I made this recipe--it was fantastic. I felt inspired and made up a recipe for raspberry filled saffron cupcakes and almond-raspberry frosting. I would never have put these flavors together. Thanks for the inspiration!


I have not been able to load the 101 library for more than a week. Has the site been discontinued? I love the site and find it so helpful. This recipe looks good!

Looking into it Renee - it's down on this end too. :/


This sounds delicious, cannot wait to try out.
I combine saffron and rosewater with juicy musk melon cubes, and let it marinate for a bit before serving. The mild flavor of the melon works really well with the saffron and rosewater.

HS: Love this idea Snigdha!


So beautifully inspired. We have mountain raspberries in South Korea now, and I've been holding off....but your recipe makes me want to run straight to the market and buy all they've got.

Jacqui Gabel

This is a beautiful post -- lovely, yet simple, recipe! Thanks for sharing!

Angela Brown

Heidi--OHMYGOODNESS!! I've just devoured my first bowl of this and I'm scheming up how I can make extra side money this summer to fund my new saffron/raspberry addiction. Beyond heavenly on some rich greek yogurt. Book material!! YUM!!


I would never have thought of that pairing - love it! Picked up some perfect raspberries at the market today and the homegrown ones are just turning blush pink.. mmm! I see this recipe in my future!


Yum! The combination of raspberries with saffron sounds divine! Growing up in India, I've had saffron in just about everything but never with raspberries. Can't wait to try it. :)


I intend to make this for my mother. Luckily we have a plethora of berries to choose from but I know she likes berries of all kinds as well as granola so this is a great way to start her morning with a quick 7 minute recipe. I will however take your advice with the creme fraiche and organize a cute dessert as well. Thanks!


How did I miss this? Thank you so much for the sweet mention. I actually learned of it from two of my farmers market customers today who are avid readers of your site and kept saying "I've heard about your granola from somewhere ... oh! 101 cookbooks!" So thank you :) xox

HS: xo Megan, you know I love it!

Megan Gordon

Soooo delicious! I made this today and everybody loved it. Thank you!


Was thinking chopped dried apricots might be nice instead of the raisins. More middle eastern


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