Gluten Free Tuesday

Delicious, no-compromise recipes for those who need to live a gluten-free lifestyle, but don't want it to taste like it.

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Strawberry Shortcakes

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Made with hard-boiled egg yolks, these gluten-free shortcakes are sturdy enough to retain their great texture, even when topped with macerated strawberries. [Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

As always, there were too many hard-boiled eggs in my refrigerator after Easter. Unlike prior years, however, I knew what I wanted to do with them: I wanted to try a cookie recipe that used hard-boiled egg yolks, a technique I had once seen in a recipe. The recipe was in...wait. Where was that recipe?

I couldn't find the cookie recipe anywhere. But during my search, I managed to find another recipe that called for hard-boiled yolks: James Beard's strawberry shortcake.

With the exception of the hard-boiled eggs, the ingredients were fairly standard for shortcake (flour, butter, lots of baking powder), but the method intrigued me. It called for chilling the dough for an hour before baking—usually I whip it all together and pop it immediately into a hot oven.

The dough came together easily. In place of the flour Beard calls for, I used white rice flour and potato starch, cut the butter into the flour, and added the egg yolks and cream, as directed. Other than some small pieces of cooked yolk that speckled the dough, there wasn't a big difference between this dough and others I've made for shortcakes. So far, so good.

The shortcakes baked up light, tender, and rich (thanks to the generous amount of cream). The only problem? Those specks of yolk. Since I stirred the yolk into the batter along with the heavy cream, it didn't really incorporate evenly into the dough.

I doubted the shortcakes were supposed to be dotted with yolk the way chocolate chip cookies are dotted with chocolate chips, so I set out to fix the problem. For the next batch, I added the egg yolks earlier, working them when the butter was almost fully cut into the flour. Once the butter and yolk were incorporated, I added the heavy cream. This time, no more bits of egg yolk dotted the batter.

Once again, the biscuits baked up light, tender, and rich. But this batch was wonderfully sturdy, able to maintain its texture after being split and topped with macerated strawberries. These shortcakes, in fact, are so tasty that I ate some with no topping at all. Oh, and that cookie recipe? I finally found it. With both those recipes in-hand and strawberry season coming into full swing, I have a feeling my refrigerator will once again be filled with a whole lot of hard-boiled eggs.

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