My little sister Tiegen and I are always horrified when people overzealously lob off the tops of strawberries in order to remove the calyx – that’s “destem the green cap” (I swear it’s a real word, thank you to my sister-in-law for that). There is so much gold there, people.
When my grandma Jean made strawberry shortcake in the spring and summer, T and I were happy – we could tidy up the strawberry bits left over. The strawberries would be tossed with a generous dose of sugar and left to stew in the fridge where they would get sweeter and sweeter. I don’t remember ever getting in trouble for lifting up the plastic wrap and scooping out strawberries with my fingers, although I know I did it. And after that, a normal helping of strawberries on top of warm shortcake served with a dollop of very sweet whipped cream finally seemed like enough.
I also have always had a hard time baking fruit when I could just enjoy it in it’s full glory. The thing is… roasting strawberries brings out a whole new dimension. Similar to caramelizing bananas, the flavor sweetens and intensifies to become reminiscent of those sugary cold-stewed strawberries in the fridge.
For these, start with sweet strawberries, red through the middle – roast them first to bring out that syrupy, jammy flavor, and then add them to a light scone dough flavored with vanilla, coconut cream and toasted coconut flakes. Serve them shortcake-style topped with fresh strawberries and drizzled with lightly sweetened coconut milk. Make sure you have extra strawberries for dipping in the coconut milk, too.
- 8 oz strawberries (or a generous 1 cup chopped) + more to top
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, chopped small
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup (+1 tablespoon for the top) nonhydrogenated baking margarine, like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, frozen if possible
- 1 tablespoon coarse-grained sugar, like demerara
- Remaining can of coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut up strawberries into large dice and arrange on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. When the oven is hot, roast them for 10 minutes. Keep the cookie sheet; you will use it again.
- In a heavy pan on the stovetop, toast the coconut over medium heat, stirring often, until golden.
- In a bowl, vigorously mix together the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and flaxseed meal. Set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and shredded coconut. If the butter is frozen, cut into pea-sized dice and mix into the flour. Otherwise, cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until pea-sized. Refrigerate to keep the butter from melting until you are ready to shape the scones.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Dump this onto a well-floured surface and use your hands to shape into a flat disk 10-12 inches across.
- Melt the remaining tablespoon of margarine on the stovetop and brush onto the top of the disk. Sprinkle on the coarse-grained sugar. Cut the disk into 8 equal triangles and use a spatula to transfer to the parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake on the middle rack for 24-27 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until golden brown on the bottom edges.
- Mix together the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Serve scones warm with coconut cream and extra sliced strawberries.