Serious Eats: Recipes

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Shortcakes

[Photograph: Elizabeth Barbone]

If I close my eyes, I can hear it: the call of summer berries. OK, maybe that's just my stomach talking but nonetheless it's berry season. And you know what that means—it's shortcake season!

Shortcakes are really just sweetened biscuits. A few weeks ago we made cheddar biscuits, and the technique for this recipe is the same: cut cold fat into flour, add liquid (in this case heavy cream) and drop the finished dough onto a baking sheet.

Most traditional (read: wheat-filled) shortcakes, use white flour. I wondered how shortcakes made with a blend of whole-grain flours might taste. Would the mild, nutty flavor of the brown rice and sorghum enhance or overpower the delicate berries?

Turns out, the flours nicely enhanced the flavor of the finished shortcake. A few of my tasters thought the whole-grain version contained more vanilla than the shortcakes baked with white rice flour. The recipe didn't contain any vanilla extract! I think the combination of whole-grain flours added a fragrant, earthy tone that they mistook for vanilla. This was a happy surprise.

If you prefer a traditional shortcake, replace the brown rice and sorghum flour with white rice flour. I've made the recipe both ways and love both versions.

Allergen-Free Modifications: Dairy is the only "top eight" allergen this recipe contains. To make the shortcakes dairy-free, replace the butter with a solid dairy-free shortening and the half and half with a dairy-free replacement. If nuts aren't a problem for you, mimi-creme works well.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

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