Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Strawberry Week--Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberries always make me think of my sister.  My mom tells the story every year of how my dad brought her the very first strawberry of the season when my sister was born.  Of course, strawberries always ripened around her birthday, so we celebrated many berry birthdays with her.
Strawberry shortcake became a staple when berry season was in full swing.  We'd eat it for dessert and hope there were leftovers for breakfast.  Sometimes shortcake and berries made the perfect light lunch for an extra hot day.  I remember once when the cupboards were practically empty and along with our mail, our mail carrier (who also happened to be our neighbor) brought a pint of fresh strawberries.  There was much rejoicing from the mailbox to the house and on into the kitchen as we scratched out a shortcake.  Strawberry shortcake was not limited to a time or place when it was in season.  It was the menu item for the season.

Here's how we carry on the Berry Tradition with the Pickles:

Vanilla Cake
Perfect for topping with Strawberries.  The flavor is wonderfully vanilla, and even a bit on the sweet side for my memories of shortcake. But no complaints have ever risen when this is served!

(This recipe is only slightly modified.  I have been experimenting with ways to completely cut out the xantham gum in this recipe, as it is an ingredient that I don't care to add to our diet.  So far, I have been running trials with flaxseed meal and sweet rice flour.  Both were yummy.  Still waiting on perfection.  So in the meantime, here you go!)

1/2 cup white basmatie rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  In a bowl combine rice flour, potato starch, baking powder, xantham gum, and salt.

2.  In a seperate bowl, beat coconut oil and sugar.  Add eggs and beat well.  Stir in coconut milk and vanilla.

3.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.

4.  Divide into well greased muffin tins or doughnut pans.  Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove to a cooling rack.  Serve immediately with a generous amount of fresh strawberries...and then a few more fresh berries.

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