Crisp blueberry shortcakes are pictured. Photo by: AP photo
November 7, 2012 11:26:55 AM
The "cake" in this case is minimal -- just three layers of baked phyllo dough cut into squares. Phyllo is a paper-thin flour dough used to make pastries. It is extremely low in fat and even comes in whole-wheat varieties. It's widely available at most grocers and typically is found in the freezer section near the fruit and pie crusts.
As for the berries, I love them raw and cooked, which is why this recipe includes the title fruit in both of those states. I wanted to highlight a raw blueberry's greatest charms, its deep juiciness and the way it explodes in your mouth. To finish it off, I added lemon and cinnamon, both of which always play so nicely with blueberries.
A few recipe notes for you:
n You will use only three sheets of phyllo in this recipe. What to do with the remaining sheets? Roll them up, wrap them tightly in plastic, then in foil, and put them back in the freezer for another day.
n I used a pizza wheel to cut the phyllo dough. It is the best tool for the job; it won't pull at and tear the delicate phyllo the way a knife can.
n I found that the best way to make sure the sugar is distributed evenly was to put it in my hand and sprinkle it over the dough.
n Keep a close eye on the phyllo squares as they bake; they brown up very quickly.
n This dessert is scrumptious, but it's a little messy to eat. Serve it with a knife, fork and spoon.
I tested this recipe not with the tart and intensely-flavored wild blueberries from my backyard, but with the cultivated blueberries found at most supermarkets. Cultivated blueberries are larger and less tart than wild ones, and can be quite tasty. I prefer wild, but my testers (the husband and kids) had no complaints.
CRISP BLUEBERRY SHORTCAKES
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 sheets phyllo dough, trimmed to 12-by-16 inches
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch table salt
1/3 cup water
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Low-fat vanilla yogurt, to garnish, if desired