Sunday, July 10, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

I love strawberries! I like to eat them plain, throw them in my smoothies, enjoy in a bowl of cereal, or add to some creamy and/or chocolate-y dessert.

I know I'm a little behind strawberry season with this post, but I had a carton of gorgeous red berries in my fridge, and wanted to do something spectacular with them. I dehydrated several pints of strawberries last month, and they were fantastic, but a lot of work for a treat that only lasted me a few days. I figured I ought to do something a little easier with this bunch of berries.

I jumped online, and drooled over a few recipes that I've been dying to try...

In the end, I decided on a strawberry shortcake. I followed recipes from Elana's cookbook, The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook, substituting out the whipped cream called for in her recipe.

First, I made the drop biscuits, similar this recipe, which calls for butter instead of oil.

Then I made her vegan Creme Patissiere (pastry cream - here's a great non-vegan recipe and video) recipe, which uses cashews. YUM!

I then layered the creme and berries in a biscuit sandwich. And there you have it!

Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe adapted from The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook

1 batch pre-made drop biscuits (see recipe, below)
1 batch creme patissiere (see recipe, below)
1 pint fresh strawberries

Clean, hull and slice the strawberries.
Cut the tops off of the biscuits.
Arrange biscuits on individual serving plates.

Note: Elana's original shortcake recipe called for 4 cups whipped cream. I managed to get 2 cups of the creme patissiere, but didn't double the recipe.

Classic Drop Biscuits
Recipe adapted from The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook
(makes 8-10)

2 ½ c blanched almond flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ c olive oil
1/4 c agave nectar
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix together oil, agave, eggs and lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients on top, and mix together until thoroughly combined.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet w/ parchment paper or oiled foil.
Scoop the batter onto the baking sheet, about 1/4 c per biscuit, and situate them about 2 inches apart. I managed to get 10 from my batch.
Bake for 15 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown. Check w/ a toothpick, if desired. Cool briefly on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack and let cool.

Creme Patissiere
Recipe adapted from The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook
(makes 1 1/2 - 2 c)

1 c raw cashews
1/2 c milk/substitute of choice (original recipe called for all water.I needed to use up some almond milk)
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp water
1/3 c agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp arrowroot powder

Combine cashews, milk, 1/2 c water, agave and vanilla in a blender. Puree on high for 1-2 minutes, until mixture is smooth.
Pour into a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
While it is heating, mix together the arrowroot and remaining 1 tbsp water in a small bowl. Stir to create a paste. Keep nearby.
Once the cashew mixture boiling, whisk constantly for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high, and mix in the arrowroot paste. Whisk constantly for another minute, until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a glass jar, and cool completely.
Will keep, refrigerated, for 2 days.

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