Serves 4 Because this dessert can be made with frozen blackberries, you can enjoy it any time. Use the leftover pastry dough to make tarts or pies.
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries*
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 pie pastry (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350º. In medium pot, combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, vanilla extract and orange rind. Bring liquid to a boil. Add blackberries and lower heat to medium-high. Stir gently, allowing blackberries to cook and burst.
2. In separate bowl, combine cornstarch and water until they form a smooth paste. Pour cornstarch mixture into pot and stir, letting liquid thicken. Pour liquid into four individual, ovenproof dishes.
3. Roll out pie pastry and cut it into four equal pieces (you'll have extra). Cover top of each baking dish with a piece of pastry. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of pastry with butter. Put all dishes in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until pastry top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Basic Pie Pastry
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup ice water
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1. Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Slowly add oil and mix with fork. Slowly add ice water and milk. Use your hands to form dough. Separate into two balls, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store until needed.
*Star ingredient: Blackberries are one of the few fruits to contain significant amounts of the antioxidant vitamin E. They are also a useful source of vitamin C and folate.
From Cooking with the Diabetic Chef (American Diabetes Association) by Chris Smith.
Photography by: Priscilla Montoya