Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

VEGAN STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE is easy to make, and up where I live it is now or never. My fourteen year old twins are picking berries for a nearby organic farm, and they tell me the season is almost over.

I've already mentioned how to make tofu whipped cream—look at my archived recipes for that, under chocolate pudding. I am finding I like the whipped cream with a can of light coconut milk blended in with it, too. It makes it taste less like soy. You can either thicken it with more oil (or use regular coconut milk), or you can try to thicken it with a teaspoon of guar gum. I suggest mixing it into the dry sugar before blending it with the wet ingredients, to keep it from clumping. Oh, what the heck—I'll give you the recipe again.


COCONUT-TOFU WHIPPED TOPPING
1 package—Morinu tofu—I use the organic one
1 15-ounce can—light coconut milk
¼ cup—organic sugar mixed with
1 tsp—guar gum
1 tsp—vanilla extract
sprinkle—salt
½—lemon, squeezed

Blend all that together until smooth, and refrigerate in a jar until you are ready to pour it over your shortcakes.

VEGAN SHORTCAKE
4 cups—whole wheat pastry flour (or a mixture of white and whole wheat flours)
1/4-1/2 cup—Sucanat brown sugar
1 and 1/2 TBL--baking powder
1/4 tsp—salt
1/2 cup (plus a little more if it doesn't look pebbly enough)—sunflower oil
1 1/2 cups (plus a little bit more until it all holds together in a ball)—water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to mix in the oil until the flour looks crumbly and dry and pebble-like.

Add in the water gradually, until it can all be kneaded lightly into a moist but not wet ball. You want it to hold together and not look floury any more, but be very careful with the last amount of water so it doesn't get too wet, which can happen quickly. If for some reason it gets too wet, don't freak out--just add a little more flour and knead it in.

Pat this resultant dough into a cast iron frying pan and bake it in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is slightly browned and if you press the middle, it feels cooked through.

This makes enough for at the most eight people, or four really hungry people. You can carefully slice it through horizontally to insert some strawberries there, if you want to make it look bigger. Or you could double the recipe and make two of them.

I assume you know to wash two quarts of organic strawberries and slice them up, perhaps with a sprinkle of sugar.

What I also like to do is make a sauce to pour over the shortcake, which helps to moisten it. If you don't have a lot of strawberries, or if they are too expensive to buy very many, then you can extend the sauce with rhubarb. Luckily we have a clump in the yard.


STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SAUCE
1 large bunch—rhubarb stalks
½ cup—water
½ cup—organic sugar
handful—sliced strawberries

Cut off the leaf portion of the rhubarb stalk if you pick your own. Rhubarb leaves are inedible. Cut the stalks into 1 inch pieces and fit them into a sauce pan with the water and sugar and handful of strawberries, cooking them until they are soft and mushy. This doesn't take long. If you do it sooner than the other parts of the recipe, then it will have time to cool.

Anyhow, then just assemble the shortcakes, pouring the strawberry rhubarb sauce over them, topping them with the pretty sliced strawberries and a dollop of the coconut soy whipped cream. Even people who think vegans eat weird foods will like this dessert. Maybe you don't even have to mention that it's different.

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