Berries and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. The sweet flavors and smooth textures make berries an irresistible bite-sized snack. Image, then, a no-bake vegan berry filling versatile enough to fit any sort of occasion. This recipe is borrowed and adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. If ever there was a perfect cook book for springboard recipes, that one takes the cake.
In the field of vegan baking, this recipe is a perfect for beginners. It’s simple, delicious, and versatile. Most of ingredients are vegan-friendly to begin with and some vegans make an exception when it comes to the use of sugar.
First, separate 2 ½ cups of berries (roughly 3/4 cup of each type). Next, blend the rinsed berries. The trick during this step is to get the mixture as smooth as possible. The smoother it is, the easier it is to push the puree through the strainer and into the saucepan. This a great place in the non-baking process to grab the kids and an apron. Pushing, stirring, and mashing the puree is fun and potentially messy—perfect for people of all ages!
Heat the filtered berry juice in a saucepan on medium heat, slowly adding the pre-combined sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Avoid clumps by stirring constantly, alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise strokes. Once the juice has thickened, or turned from bright pink to deep red, remove the pot from the heat, add the lemon juice, and let it sit.
Now, heat a teaspoon your favorite jelly or jam and coat the leftover berries. Finally, combine the slightly cooled puree with the berries and let the whole thing sit.
The filling is complete! Now it’s up to you to present it in any way you see fit. Fill your favorite vegan (or non-vegan) pie crust with the puree and press the whole berries into the base. Layer the filling and berries into wine glasses and add whipped cream for a classy dessert. This recipe also makes the perfect cookie dip! Take your favorite sugar cookie and scoop a little bit of berry mix like you would chips and salsa.
The best part of this recipe is the zero percent guilt to one-hundred percent awesome ratio. Take this healthy recipe and have fun with. Isn’t that the point of baking to begin with?