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Blackberry Granita & Cream Parfait

Blackberry Granita & Cream Parfait
Purple and blue fruits are among the richest in disease-fighting antioxidants. Blueberries in particular have been studied extensively for their ability to improve memory and brain function, and blackberries share many of the same characteristics. At their peak in summer, blackberries are delicious in this recipe, where they are transformed into a granita and layered with sweetened whipped cream and yogurt.

Ingredients:

For the granita:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries or
      boysenberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

For the parfait cream:

  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat or whole yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. confectioners' sugar
  • 2 or 3 meringue cookies, crumbled (optional)
  • Fresh blackberries or boysenberries for garnish
      (optional)

Directions:

To make the granita, in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar and 3 cups water and cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the berries, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Using a blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Pour into a large, shallow metal baking pan and freeze until icy, about 4 hours. Break up with a fork and freeze for 2 hours more. Break up again, then refreeze. About 2 hours before serving, break up the mixture again with a fork and refreeze.

To make the parfait cream, in a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Stir in the yogurt and confectioners' sugar. Cover and refrigerate.

To serve, spoon alternating layers of granita and parfait cream into serving glasses, sprinkling the crumbled meringue cookies between the layers. Finish with a layer of parfait cream. Garnish with fresh berries and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Notes: All kinds of acidic fruits can be added to a sugar syrup base for granita. Lemon or lime juice works well with a little mint. Store the granita in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Serve without the cream if desired.

Adapted from New Healthy Kitchen Series, Desserts, by Annabel Langbein (Simon & Schuster, 2006).