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Blueberry Shimmer

Spoon up a cool bite of Blueberry Shimmer and experience a parade of tastes: first lemon, then blueberry, and finally vanilla. This easy, healthy dessert is low in fat,  high in nutrients and fiber, and gluten free.

Blueberry Shimmer has some of the jiggle of Jell-O, but it's vegan, made with agar agar from sea vegetables instead of gelatin from animals. Make it in a flat pan to dish out or cut into shapes or use custard cups for individual servings.

I came up with this recipe when I came back from a trip and found a forgotten box of blueberries that were on the road themselves to becoming blueberry raisins. (Braisins?)

Active time: 12 to 20 minutes, depending on how many stems the blueberries have. Total time: 90 minutes. Serves 4.

blueberry shimmer agar agar star with peaches

Recipe ingredients:

2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons agar agar flakes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

lemon sugar topping (optional)
zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon sugar

Recipe method:

  1. Pick over and rinse blueberries, removing stems and any that are so shriveled they are hard.

    shriveled blueberries with stems on plate

  2. Put blueberries and water in a food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade or a blender. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour blueberry mixture into a medium pan. Stir in agar agar and two tablespoons sugar, then cover pan and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower heat so mixture barely boils and simmer for five minutes.
  4. If making lemon sugar topping, zest lemon and mix zest with remaining sugar in a small bowl or jar, stirring to get rid of clumps. Stir one tablespoon lemon juice into blueberry mixture.
  5. After five minutes of simmering, stir in vanilla. Pour Blueberry Shimmer into four custard cups or an 8 by 8-inch pan. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour.
  6. Serve plain in custart cups, with or without a dusting of lemon sugar just before serving. Get fancy by using a cookie cutter or a knife to cut Blueberry Shimmer into shapes, then pair with other fruit such as peaches or bananas. Go elegant by running a thin knife around the edges of the custard cups to loosen shimmer, put a dessert plate over the top of the cup, then flip the whole shebang so the Shimmer drops out of the custard cup.

    blueberry shimmer dessert with lemon sugar made in a custard cup

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Sprinkle lemon sugar on at the last minute. Otherwise, it will aborb liquid, lose its crunch, and turn blue.
  • Like blueberry pie, this dessert turns your teeth and tongue blue temporarily. Eat this in private or among people who will laugh merrily at this side effect, not in the school lunchroom.



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