Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

Growing up in a Mennonite household meant a lot of delicious desserts.  One of those was Strawberry-Rhubarb Crunch.  I have always love the sweet but tart taste of rhubarb.  When I got to Washington, I realized that my sister had rhubarb cleaned and diced in her fridge.  I immediately decided to bake something with it.

Hope pulled out her Mennonite Cookbook and we went for it.  The recipe does not call for strawberries, but I had to include them.  I replaced half of the rhubarb the recipe called for with strawberries.

I simply used vegan ingredients to replace the dairy and butter, and we were good to go. Mix the first half of the ingredients per the recipe, I would recommend adding a little bit of coconut oil to the crumble.  The Earth Balance didn’t seem to moisten it enough, and a TBSP of coconut oil added a nice flavor.

 

Half this mix gets pressed into the bottom of your pan like a crust.  After that mix the strawberry and rhubarb together and add over the bottom crust.

Then you will cook the glaze that goes over the fruit.  I stirred almost constantly, but my sister said to stir occasionally instead.  That helped it thicken faster.

It should get pretty clear, but the vanilla will give it a slightly brown color, so don’t wait for it to be completely clear. It should look like this:

The glaze goes over the fruit, then top with the remainder of the crumb mixture.

Yes, I am a messy baker and cook.  Don’t judge me.  Also, bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  This is what you will get when you are done.  Give it time to rest or it will be very liquidy.  I made that word up, but it fits.  Just trust me…give it about 20 minutes to an hour to reabsorb the liquid.

Recipe:

 

 

 


Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry season is in full bloom in lower Delaware. This means fresh berries for topping cereal, yogurt, and ice cream. And if you grew up in my family, it also meant strawberry pie, shortcakes, and sweet freezer jam. My sister knew that I would want to enjoy some tastes of home while I was in town.

The day before I got into town, she picked 11 quarts of berries at a local farm and made some vegan strawberry shortcakes for me.  She also took me to the farm where she picks her strawberries and the owner was kind enough to let me take photos and eat a few fresh berries while I was there.  They were so sweet and delicious!

The shortcake was delicious, so I asked her if I could have her recipe to share with everyone on the blog. She told me she had simply adapted the Bisquick shortcake recipe, and offered to make a second (double) batch with me so I could share it. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.

The recipe was easy and it took no time to make. Of course, there were two of us, but seriously, super fast and surprisingly few ingredients. The vegan adaptions were the usual…substituting the butter and the milk. We replaced the butter with coconut oil and used Cashew Milk. This does not give the shortcakes a coconut flavor, but it does make for a light and fluffy cake.

First thing to do is mix the dry ingredients together, then make a well in the center of it. Second thing to do is mix the milk and melted coconut oil together in a separate bowl. Add this to the dry ingredients. Stir until just moist. Do not over stir!

Scoop onto a cookie pan covered in parchment paper. Try to be as consistent with the size as possible, so they will all bake up in the same time frame. The double recipe made 12 shortcakes when we measured about 1/3 cup of the batter for each.

They ended up touching when they baked, so they took about 3 minutes longer than the recipe suggested. You are looking for light golden brown on top. Pull them out, tap them on top, and listen for a slightly hollow sound. If they are left in too long, they will get overly tough on the bottom. See the light golden brown nubs?  That’s what you are looking for.

The strawberry mixture is pretty straightforward. Take the tops off, sliced them up and add sugar. We used half the amount of sugar called for by the recipe because the first time she made it, the strawberries were super sweet. I suppose it will depend on the type of strawberries you have and your own sweet tooth.

At this point, most blogs might be talking about layering shortcakes, strawberries, and whipped topping, but I didn’t grow up with that kind of strawberry shortcake. In fact, in our house, we had strawberry shortcake for dinner, not for dessert. My parents served it crumbled up with sliced strawberries and milk, and that is still my favorite way to eat it.  I think it tasted best eating it out of my mom’s old blue and white dishes.  Isn’t it wonderful how close we can feel to our parents even after they are gone?

If you prefer your strawberry shortcake as a dessert, I won’t judge at all!  So Delicious Dairy Free Coco Whip would be the bomb layered into this dish.

Recipe:

See how I did that?  That’s called lazy blogging.  😉


Fluffy Vegan Yeast Rolls

It’s overcast and raining in the Abacos today.  A cold front is fighting with a warm front (and winning).  This is the first day I have had to close windows since we got here.  The wind was blowing the blinds around and rain was getting in.  So, I cranked them closed.  I have to admit though, I am so happy it’s raining today.  I told Bruce last night that I needed a down day, and then the weather showed up this morning.  For me, rainy days are perfect for reading, baking, and making soup…rainy day = down day.

Bruce ran into town to pick up a few things, so I put the hammock away and pulled the shade canopy down.  The forecast is calling for gale force winds, and I didn’t want the canopy to rip.  I stacked chairs against the SUP, so it wouldn’t get knocked over either.  Once I was sure everything was secure, the dogs and I watched a few episodes of Cupcake Wars.  The thing is, I can’t watch Food Network without needing to cook or bake. So, I made myself a fruit salad to snack on, and scrolled through www.Pinterest.com looking at recipes.

 

I have been craving home cooked yeast rolls for a couple weeks now, ever since my sister baked some and sent me pictures.  I have to admit, I was terrified of recipes with yeast in them until last year.  Even though I watched my mom bake TONS of bread when I was a kid, I just wasn’t confident enough to try it for myself.  The temperature has to be just right or the yeast won’t work; too cold and it won’t activate, too warm and it dies.  It sounds scary, right?  I finally worked up the nerve to try a yeast bread recipe about a year ago and it actually worked!  I was stoked.  Since then, I have gotten pretty good at baking with it.

So, here I am with no almond milk, but a driving need to bake.  I finally found what looked like a quick, easy yeast roll recipe that I could veganize and I actually had all the ingredients for. This is what I love about Pinterest, there are so many recipes to try!  The link took me to a blog called www.thebakerupstairs.com.  I’ll include a link directly to her yeast roll recipe at the bottom of this post, so you can check it out.  There were lots of comments from people saying they had tried subbing ingredients with success, so I decided to try it.  The only thing in the recipe that isn’t vegan is the butter and sugar.  I followed her recipe for the most part, with the following substitutions and changes.

I used Earth Balance butter and Florida Crystals Organic Sugar as substitutes, and once I had shaped the dough into rolls, I let it rise a second time.  I did this because I thought it would make them even fluffier, and also because my grandma always let hers rise a second time.  Her rolls were the absolute bomb.  No one in the world makes rolls like my grandma did, so I figured why not?  Lastly, I was supposed to get 20 rolls out of this.  I quite obviously did not, because I rolled them way too big.  I didn’t even get an even number.  Look at that pan.  I have 11 rolls in there.  Can you tell I am not a professional baker? I don’t even care.  That’s how many I rolled from the dough I had, so that’s how many I baked.

The best part, it didn’t matter at all…they are delicious.  The recipe really did give me soft and fluffy rolls that took close to an hour, even with the second rise.  My yeast got foamy in about a minute, so I was able to mix it up super fast.  I only kneaded for about 3 minutes before covering the dough and setting it on top of the stove with a cover over it.  I like putting it there because the heat from the oven underneath seems to help it rise nicely.  It only took about 10 minutes to punch and form into rolls, probably because I wasn’t being super picky with the process.  Another 20 minute rise, then 15 minutes in the oven. Let’s see…about an hour and 15 minutes from beginning to glorious end.  Bruce came home to a house that smelled of freshly baked yeast rolls. He complained for a moment that he was going to get fat if I keep baking for him, and then proceeded to eat two in a row.  ha!

Instead of rewriting the recipe, I am just going to post the link to Alicia’s blog.  Hey, it’s a down day, and I already explained how to veganize it.  I’m going to curl up with a good book and the boxer.  The link for the recipe is here:

http://www.thebakerupstairs.com/2015/09/soft-and-fluffy-one-hour-rolls.html

Let me know how yours turn out!