June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day we love this gluten free recipe for Grandmothers Crispy Strawberry Shortcake for this yummy holiday.
A really fun catch-up phone conversation last week with one of my favorite Martin, Tennessee, first cousins, Weekly County historian and genealogist, Pansy Baker, led to reminiscing about our grandmother and great-grandmother and some of their recipes that have become family famous.
Grandmother’s Crispy Strawberry Shortcake recipe that has been passed down for generations
Make up enough pie crust dough for five seven-inch rounds and roll out very thin. Cool after baking, then layer on cake stand or in a bowl, starting with the baked crispy crust, then a generous amount of sweetened mashed strawberries. Top with whipped cream. Should be served before crisp crust becomes soggy.
A 2015 experimental version of Grandmother’s Crispy Strawberry Shortcake
One of the Biosyntrx staff is gluten intolerant, and we have a couple of mostly vegan scientific board members, so we decided to experiment with gluten-free flour for Grandmother’s basic pie crust recipe; solid coconut oil in place of the shortening she used (probably lard or Crisco), and canned coconut milk for the whipping cream.
Our VP of Operations, David Amess, included some of the coconut cream he whipped on every layer of the shortcake, which received rave reviews from our entire staff. David also suggested adding a few blueberries to the strawberries for patriotic Fourth of July parties.
If memory serves, Grandmother’s pie crust layers were thinner and flakier than ours in the photo above, and she reserved the whipped cream for the top.
Coconut oil pie crust ingredients from Whole Foods website
2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup refined solid (not liquid) coconut oil
8 tablespoons ice water
Directions for coconut oil vegan pie crust
Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to combine, or combine by hand in a large bowl.
Add cold solid coconut oil (or other shortening) and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, making sure there are no large pieces of coconut oil remaining. Or, cut coconut oil or other shortening in by hand with two table knives like our grandmother did.
Add ice water a couple of tablespoons at a time and continue to pulse, or mix by hand with a fork just until dough begins to come together.
Turn dough out onto a cutting board or a smooth surface and form into a ball or flattened disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight. Roll out dough until very thin on a lightly floured surface when ready to use.
Bake in a 350 to 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden.
Whipped coconut cream directions from allrecipes.com
Refrigerate large can of coconut milk for eight hours or overnight (not the coconut milk you buy in cartons in the dairy section of the supermarket).
Place metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for one hour before whipping the cream.
Open can of coconut milk, taking care not to shake it. Scoop coconut cream solids into cold mixing bowl. Reserve remaining liquid for another use.
Beat using electric mixer with chilled beaters on medium speed and then turn to high speed. Beat until stiff peaks form (seven to eight minutes). Add a small amount of sugar and a quick splash of vanilla extract, beat one minute more and adjust sugar if desired.
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. Recent science suggests that 95 percent of digested mercury sticks to the dietary fiber in strawberries and is quickly eliminated from the body. Strawberries are one of the rare fruits with seeds on the outside. Each tiny seed is connected to the center of the strawberry via plant fibers that are not easily digested in the gastrointestinal tract so they are now called, ‘mercury sponges’.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it’s an easily absorbed medium chain fatty acid that is thought to be healthier than animal-based saturated fat. Next to mother’s milk, it’s by far the richest natural source of lauric acid, the powerhouse antimicrobial agent.
We did not let the dough sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before rolling it out and that was possibly a mistake. We also observed that the pie crust rounds placed on the second- batch preheated cookie sheet browned faster and were crispier. We sliced our strawberries for photo-ready presentation and Grandmother’s suggestion to mash at least some of them would have worked a bit better, although after slicing the berries and lightly dusting them with sugar, we put them in a large bowl and topped them with a china plate weighted down with a large can of tomatoes for 10 minutes, which helped draw out the juice. We also ate the shortcake the minute it was finished and photographed. Letting it sit for a little while will give the berries time to soak into the crust without it becoming too soggy.
Ellen Troyer and the Biosyntrx staff