Long time readers of SPC know about my love/hate relationship with dessert. Actually a little hate would help me out. We all love it in my house and that's the problem. We'd have it after every meal if there we no consequences. But there are, obviously. Some I we don't need to get into because I have a policy about the F word (poor Laura is exempt from this policy and has to listen to me moan about the size of my ass). But the other, more high minded issue is that I don't want my kids to become even more sugar-addicted than they already are.
This summer classic is not exactly sugar free but it still represents a good compromise. The biscuits are made with spelt flour (lower on the glycemic index means your blood sugar doesn't spike and crash), the strawberry sauce is mostly berries and, the best part is they are mini. I'm talking slider mini. I got the biscuit recipe from the recent Gwyneth Paltrow feature in Bon Appetit Magazine. She recommends three per serving but one was plenty for us. Gwyneth makes her strawberry sauce with balsamic, which sounds great and I'd do it for a grown up dinner party but I didn't think my kids would go for it. So, I went my own way and made a very simple, mostly fruit, strawberry sauce.Ben had to work late and missed dinner the night I made these. Naturally we had to let him have one for breakfast the next day. And well, that's not fair, is it? The kids had to split one for breakfast, too. So, yeah, we're right back to desserts at every meal. And sometimes for every meal…
Strawberry Shortcake Sliders
2 1/2 cups spelt flour (G.P.'s recipe called for white spelt flour which I couldn't find so mine came out a little more brown)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup very cold butter (like, get it in the freezer for 20 minutes)
1/2 cup buttermilk and a bit more for brushing (1 Tbsp of vinegar in regular milk for 15 minutes if you don't have any)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 Tbsp agave syrup
2 1/2 cup strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 lemon, juiced
+ 2 cups of whipping cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. You could cut in the cold butter into the flour with your finger tips or two regular table knives but I love my new trick of grating very cold butter with a cheese grater. It creates the perfect size pieces of butter.
In another bowl, blend milk, yogurt and agave together. Pour the liquid into the flour and stir until it comes together.
Transfer the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 2 or 3 times. Pat out into a circle about 3/4 inch thickness. I wanted quite small biscuits so I used an espresso cups to cut out mine. Place onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuit with a thin layer of buttermilk. Bake for about 10 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on a rack completely before assembling.
In a small pot, place 1 1/2 cups of berries, sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the sauce thickens. If you throw in a couple of lemon seeds it will help as they full of pectin. Just be sure to fish them out when you're done! Remove from heat and place in the fridge to chill. Stir in the 2 cups of berries about 10 to 15 minutes before serving so they can soften just a bit in the sauce.
Whip your heavy cream with an electric mixer. I never add sugar to whipping cream as I usually want it to cut something that's already pretty sweet. Assemble your beautiful dessert in this order: biscuit, berry sauce, whipped cream, bit more sauce, biscuit. It's summer on a plate!