Saffron Raspberries Recipe

Beautiful raspberries tossed with saffron brown sugar, vanilla paste, olive oil, and toasted almonds.

Saffron Raspberries

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

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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 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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

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!


what an incredibly unique and lovely fusion of flavour xx

petal and plume

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!


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!


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)

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


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


I am so impressed wih the flavor combination!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

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

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!


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!


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


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


Love this idea of using safron:-)

La Torontoise

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

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.



Kelly Turnbull

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.


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 @

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