Summer’s here and that means it’s time for a trip to the berry patch. As a child, my mom would lug me, my brother and an armful of empty ice cream pails to our local U-Pick strawberry field. It was messy business crawling along the straw-packed rows of ripe berries. It was impossible to keep our clothes from getting stained and dirty so, in her motherly wisdom, mom dressed us in our oldest, rattiest, nearly-grown-out-of clothes. This way it wouldn’t matter when our knees were stained crimson red from the juice of the berries we’d accidentally crawl over, or if the front of our shirts were full of strawberry juice that had dribbled down our chin as we bit into the biggest berry we could find.
To keep herself sane, Mom always had a check list to complete before we left the house on our berry wrangling adventure.
First on that list was to always make sure to go to the bathroom before heading out on our adventure, since we knew the berry farm only had one lone outhouse along the side of the field. Enough said.
Secondly, we’d nearly bathe in mosquito repellent. If you think grocery shopping with an impatient child in your cart is hard to do, you should attempt getting 8 ice cream pails of strawberries off the plant with two whining, complaining kids that are getting eaten by mosquitoes. It’s not going to happen. You will pack up with the one-and-a-half pails you managed to get off the plant before the kids went berserk and head for home, stopping to buy some strawberry jam at the store along the way.
And lastly, we made sure to not have any breakfast before heading to the farm (OK, maybe that was on our list, not hers). We always joked about how it was a good thing that the farmer didn’t weigh us before and after picking. If my Mom had to pay for the berries my brother and I put in our bellies instead of our pails, I doubt she would have taken us picking anymore. It would have led to financial ruin.
I’m grown now, with children of my own. Although we’re not able to make it to the berry patch every year, when we can, we get out there to pick our share of fresh strawberries. The kids love homemade strawberry jam, and they know that for fresh jam, we need to get fresh berries. And while we slowly move our way along the row, picking only the reddest berries, I know that they are busy filling their bellies more than their baskets. And I smile.
Anytime berry season hits, the one dessert that people typically think about is Strawberry Shortcake. There are two kinds of strawberry shortcake; the sponge cake-type, and the biscuit-type. Today I am sharing my recipe for Gluten Free Classic Strawberry Shortcake, which is the light biscuit-style shortcakes that many of us had to leave behind when going on this gluten-free journey. After several attempts, I believe I got it just right. The biscuits are airy and delicate, overflowing with luscious strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, washed & cut up
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (less if your berries are sweet)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Chill Your Butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, placed in the freezer for 30 minutes before use
- 6 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons coarse sugar
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sprinkle berries with sugar and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Allow to sit for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until evenly combined.
- Using a coarse grater, grate the slightly frozen butter into the dry ingredients. Stir to coat the butter with the dry ingredients.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until the dough begins to come together.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a slightly damp counter. Sprinkle the plastic wrap with sweet rice flour or potato starch. Turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap, and without handling the dough too much, knead it until it comes together in one ball. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough and roll to about 3/4" thick. Cut into circles using a 3" biscuit cutter, and place biscuits on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until the dough has all been formed into biscuits, trying to handle it the least amount possible.
- Brush the tops of the biscuits with heavy whipping cream, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake biscuits in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until a nice golden brown on top. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Place cold whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a deep, chilled bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. This can be done hours in advance, and stored covered in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Slice biscuit in half. Top with about 1/3 cup cut up strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream before placing the top of the biscuit back on top. Garnish with more strawberries if desired.
Alternately, you can prepare the biscuit dough by using a food processor. Add the dry ingredients first, pulsing to blend. Add the butter, cut into cubes, and pulse until the butter is about the size of a pea. Pour in all the wet ingredients at once, and pulse until the dough comes together. I just found I got better results using the above method.
Other Berry-licious Gluten-Free Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar
- Strawberry Mango Salsa
- Gluten-Free Lemon Cornmeal Waffles with Strawberry-Rhubarb Syrup
- Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
- Gluten-Free Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes
- Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar, and Black Pepper Jam
- Gluten-Free Fruit Pizza
- Strawberry Cream Roll Cake