In the summertime when fruit is at its sweetest and juiciest, its best eaten fresh and ripe-from-the-pickin’ — not pressed into a pie, baked into a cake or muddled into ice cream. Fruit this fabulous needs a light accoutrement that will let it shine — a dainty pavlova, a parfait of whipped cream, or my personal favourite: a sandwich of shortcakes.
So after my morning of strawberry picking, I knew exactly what I was going to make with my treasure trove of earth’s edible rubies. On a vegan baking kick, I used a recipe from Babycakes NYC for Vegan Biscuits (see below) paired with Oh She Glows’ recipe for Coconut Whipped Cream. Gluten-free, vegan and free of refined sugar, the natural fixings were the perfect partners for fresh Ontario strawberries. Make this dessert with in-season California peaches for a guilt-free dessert that says summer and tastes like it, too.
Babycakes NYC Vegan Biscuits
3 cups white spelt flour (plus 1/2 cup for dusting)
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup hot water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, and hot water to the dry ingredients. Combine until a slightly moist dough is formed.
3. Dust the counter generously with spelt flour. Roll the dough through the flour until it is coated on all sides. Gently pat the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle and cut out 12 shortcakes with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Place the shortcakes about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the shortcakes on the centre rack for 16 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes. The finished shortcakes will have a slightly golden, flaky crust.
4. Let the shortcakes cool on the sheets for 15 minutes, or until completely cool.