Berry Week: Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

Berry Week: Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

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…

Pho­tos: Maya Visnyei

Berry Week: Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

Ingredients

  • Short­cakes
  • 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
  • Straw­berry Sauce
  • 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

Method

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!

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