I love Sunflower Market. It is my all-time favorite grocery store and sometimes I think I'd rather go shopping there than, let's say, the mall. Their produce is so fresh and inexpensive, their bulk section has almost everything I need for my crazy vegan recipes, and the have an amazing beer and wine selection. What more do you need??
When I went a few days ago to pick up some odds and ends, I noticed that they had pints of strawberries for $.97!!! Big, red, juicy strawberries for under a dollar. Obviously I bought some! First thing that came to mind was Strawberry Shortcake. Who doesn't LOVE Strawberry Shortcake?? I almost picked up a package of silken tofu so I could try to create some kind of whipped topping, but I didn't. I changed my mind. I wanted a chocolate strawberry cake or some kind of strawberry pie.
This is what I came up with:
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus chill time
Cook time: 45 minutes
Scant 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp Earth Balance, chilled
3 tbsp cold water
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp corn starch
(Another) Pinch of salt
1 tbsp soy milk
For the crust:
1. Lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the salt; cut in 3 tablespoons Earth Balance with a pastry cutter or a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons ice water; stir just until moist. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead lightly for 30 seconds. Divide dough into 2 equal balls. Place each dough portion between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; roll each dough portion, still covered, into an 8-inch circle. Chill 20 to 30 minutes.
For the filling:
1. In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, corn starch and salt. Stir to combine.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Uncover dough; place dough circles on a baking sheet. Arrange half of the strawberries in a pinwheel pattern in one of the dough circles, starting in the middle and forming circles of strawberries, leaving a 2-inch border. Repeat with the second dough circle and remaining strawberries.
3. Fold up the edges of the dough circles over the berries, crimping to seal. Lightly brush the pastry with the soy milk.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
I decided to top mine with some Chocolate Brown Rice Syrup from Suzanne's Specialties. When I opened the jar, I immediately smelled the intense chocolate aroma and knew I was in love. It was thick, just like the kind of chocolate you get on your ice cream at Mack's Apples (which happens to also be where I got married!). It melted on the warm tart and I sifted a touch of powdered sugar over it. I love this dessert and I will DEFINITELY be making it again soon! I hope you'll give it a try!
PS: If you're looking for some tasty sweet stuff of your own, DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY!!! You can win a whole bunch of Suzanne's Specialties goodies for yourself!
PPS: I mentioned my love for chocolate AND that I got married at Mack's Apples, so it's only fair that I mention the love I have for my husband. Cody, you are the most supportive, wonderful, sweet, talented, smart, understanding man I have ever known and I'm so lucky to have you as my best friend. Here's to a lifetime of love!