My dad has made a killer strawberry-rhubarb dessert each summer throughout my childhood. So when he decided to make his famous dessert for my grandma’s 95th birthday, I jumped at the opportunity to make my own vegan version! The original recipe he was given was strictly rhubarb (no strawberries), so I opted for this and made up my own fruit compote to top. Essentially, this dessert has a shortbread crumb base with a rhubarb custard-y filling. It could be topped with a multitude of toppings. I chose a strawberry-blueberry compote but one could top with any type of fruit or whipped coconut cream (originally the recipe is topped with a thick layer of meringue).
Firstly, I didn’t want to make the full recipe (made in a 9×13 pan) so I 2/3’sed the recipe to fit into a 9×9 pan. Secondly, I made some major substitutions (one for eggs, one for butter, and one for whipping cream). However, using the ratios that the recipe called for with the vegan substitutions made some things weird. So I fixed it up! I’ve included these fixes in the recipe.
The main problem I had was the crumb base. In the original recipe, the butter is meant to be chopped into a crumb at room temperature. Following this method, I tried to chop the warm vegan butter into the flour and sugar but it turned it into a mushy lump. After adding more flour and sugar the crumb began to have a flakier texture, however in fear of over working it, I settled for what I had and baked it. In the end, it truly did turn out perfectly crispy and chewy and flaky! Next time, I’m going to work on a more wholesome crust and look to reduce the refined sugar.
The VEGAN Rhubarb Delight:
- 1 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup chilled Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread (or other butter alternative)
- 5 tablespoons + 1 cup sugar
- dash of salt
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoon ground flax + 4 tablespoons water)
- 1 can coconut milk cream (Place can in the fridge for 30 minutes, flip the can upside down, open the can, remove the watery liquid and only use the thick cream) Reserve the watery bit for use in a smoothie! Yum.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
*Preheat oven to 350F
1. In a small bowl, mix the ground flax seeds and water until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, cut 1 1/2 cup flour with the butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and a dash of salt into a fine crumb. Pat into a 9×9 pan. Bake crumb for 15 minutes at 350F
3. While the crumb is baking, peel the thin layer of skin off the rhubarb (this reduces the bitter taste to the rhubarb) and slice each stalk in half length-wise. Chop rhubarb 1/4 inch thick and place into a large bowl. Add the two flax eggs, coconut milk-cream, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and vanilla extract. Mix until the rhubarb is coated and it looks all custard-like.
4. Distribute the rhubarb mixture evenly onto the crust. Bake for 1 hour at 350F (Allow dessert to cool for 1 hour before serving, however it’s best served warm!)
– 1 cup water
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
– 2 cups chopped strawberries (divided)
– 1 cup blueberries
1. In medium saucepan on medium heat, combine the water, sugar and arrowroot powder. Add 1 cup of the chopped strawberries and the 1 cup of blueberries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and with a potato masher, mash the berries roughly. Let berries simmer uncovered for 8 minutes, or until reduced in volume and has a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and add in the remaining cup of chopped strawberries.
2. Serve hot or cold!
All in all, this recipe was a success. I’m stoked on testing out a different base and even using a different filling (peach blueberry?).