Like Sara Lee pound cake, this buttery, very vanilla shortcake loaf begs for strawberries and whipped cream. Get the recipe in time for strawberry season.
This very special strawberry shortcake is the result of a recipe conversion for a beloved member of our LFG community, Carolyn Gurski. She entrusted her family's secret shortcake recipe, generations in the making, to me and asked me to recreate it LFG. Her original recipe is quite simple with all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, margarine, sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla. But you can already see the problems, LECTINS, BAD FAT, and SUGAR! I converted this to lectin free with a few easy swaps. Read on to see how it's done.
Of course, to convert a recipe I have to experience the original. The sacrifices I make for you, I swear! Don't worry, I only had a couple bites. When I tasted it, I was delighted to discover that it was JUST LIKE SARA LEE POUND CAKE. This pound cake was what my mother used to make strawberry shortcake when I was growing up. So this shortcake, that tastes like the shortcake I had as a kid, was a welcome addition to my LFG lineup.
If you've tried to bake anything lectin free, you know how frustrating it can be when you have a classic recipe in mind and your lectin free version turns out nothing like it. You scratch your head wondering what went wrong. In theory, swapping out flours and sweeteners should do the trick, right? But gluten and sugar are two important ingredients that hold many baked goods together. How often have you ended up with a crumbly mess?
To assure your baked goods turn out in one piece, you need a few tricks up your sleeve. Once you know them, baking becomes quite enjoyable as more and more of your efforts pay off in the form of tasty treats.
First, you have to make my flour blend. I use it one-to-one for any recipe containing all-purpose flour. The LFG blend is 2:1:1 cassava, coconut, and blanched almond flours. Each flour contributes something to mimic all-purpose flour. Cassava has lots of nice starch, coconut has great fiber, and almond has protein. To make the blend, measure each to the gram if you have a kitchen scale. For instance, to make one pound of my flour blend sift 227 grams of cassava flour and 113.5 grams each of coconut and almond flours together and store it in a large canister. This way you don't have to do any crazy math when a recipe calls for 3/4 cup (like this recipe does). You can just measure it out of the blend you already have mixed.
Second, accept that Xanthan gum is friend not foe. This ingredient often gets undeserved criticism likely due to its name. I mean, XANTHAN GUM sounds like Batman's arch enemy. It's chemical-sounding name was given when its inventor fermented sugar resulting in a gooey slurry that contains a good bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. The broth is then mixed with alcohol and dried into a powder. When you add it to cakes, cookies, and breads made without gluten or sugar, it magically acts like gluten without the harmful effects on your gut. If only the inventor had called it "baker's magic" instead.
Third, Dr G and I are both very interested in allulose for lectin free baking. Baked goods made with allulose result in cakes and cookies closest to their sugary original. That's because allulose is a form of sugar, sort of. It will count toward total sugar and carbohydrate (CHO) grams on food and beverage labels; however, your body won't metabolize it and does not contribute calories to the diet. Best of all, it's gut-friendly. I prefer allulose over sweeteners containing erythritol. Like erythritol, allulose provides the bulk for recipes, But unlike erythritol, allulose doesn't give you that weird cooling effect on your tongue when you eat it.
Finally, understand that lectin free flours need extra moisture. I almost always use sour cream or plain coconut yogurt in my cakes and sweet loafs. It gives them the familiar moist texture like their classic originals, the ones I remember in my pre-lectin-free days.
Keep this LFG strawberry shortcake recipe handy when strawberry season arrives in your area. Remember, Dr. Gundry says fruit is ok occasionally on the Plant Paradox if it's consumed in season. Ask your local organic berry patch, "When is strawberry season?" Some are as early as March. It's so fun to pick a bushel of berries to bring home for eating and baking up recipes like this delicious LFG strawberry shortcake.
Ready to make strawberry shortcake? Let's do it!
LFG Strawberry Shortcake
3/4 Cup LFG Flour Blend*
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Aluminum Free Baking Powder
*2:1:1 Cassava, Coconut and Blanched Almond Flours
1/4 Cup Grassfed Ghee (room temp)
1 Pasture Raised Egg
3/4 Cup Organic Sour Cream or Plain Coconut Yogurt
1/2 Cup Allulose Granules
1 Tbsp Raw Local Honey
10 Drops Vanilla Sweet Leaf (stevia drops)
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Fresh Organic Strawberries
Organic Heavy Cream or Coconut Cream (whipped)
Step 1: Sift Dry Ingredients
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, sift flour, Xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
Step 2: Cream Wet Ingredients
In a medium bowl, cream together ghee, egg, sour cream, allulose, honey, stevia drops, and vanilla extract with a wire whisk until smooth.
Step 3: Add Wet to Dry
Dump the wet ingredients into the dry bowl and stir together with a rubber spatula until well incorporated, airy, and very fluffy. Stop stirring once you achieve this lofty texture. Over stirring will cause your shortcake to fall.
Step 4: Bake
Line the bottom of two mini loaf pans with parchment paper. Divide batter and pour into lined pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes until loaves are a rich dark brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the risen loaves comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in pans 10 minutes. Then, slide a butter knife between the cake and the edges of the pans. Turn one cake out into the palm of your hand and peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the loaf. Repeat for second loaf. Allow cakes to cool and set on a rack for another 20 minutes before slicing and serving warm. Wrap in plastic and store on the counter. They get better and better as they sit.
Serve one-inch slices of shortcake with fresh organic strawberries and whipped cream.