A blend of flours and a touch of cream combine to make these ethereal biscuits by beloved GF baker Alanna Taylor-Tobin. They are just the thing to top with a plume of whipped crème fraîche and ripe summer berries to create gluten-free berry shortcakes.
Berry Shortcakes with Whipped Crème Fraîche Gluten-Free Recipe
The biscuits are sensitive to liquid, so add just enough to bring the dough together; too much and the biscuits will spread in the oven. The biscuits are best warm on the day of baking, but leftovers can be re-crisped in a 400ºF oven for 5 minutes. For advance prep, the dough can be shaped and refrigerated airtight overnight. Unbaked biscuits can be frozen airtight, then baked frozen at 375ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.
For the shortcakes:
- 1 cup sweet white rice flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
- 1/2 cup plus 1 to 7 tablespoons heavy cream divided
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped crème fraîche:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche (or more heavy cream)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract or seeds from half a vanilla bean
For the berries:
- 3 cups sliced summer berries mixture of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
- Pinch of fine sea salt
Make the biscuits: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425ºF. Stack a rimmed baking sheet atop a second rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper (to prevent biscuit bottoms from burning).
In a large bowl, combine the sweet rice, sorghum, oat, and tapioca flours with the ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the butter is the size of small peas. Chill until cold, 15 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a measuring pitcher, whisk together the ½ cup cream, egg, and vanilla. Chill until needed.
Gradually add the chilled cream mixture to the chilled flour mixture, then mix with a spoon until the dough holds together when you give it a squeeze. You may need to add 1 to 6 tablespoons of cream to properly hydrate the dough; the amount will vary depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, and how much you’ve worked in the butter. Knead the dough in the bowl at least 20 times and then bring it together in a ball.
On a surface dusted lightly with oat flour, pat the dough into a 1-inch high, even round. Use a 3-inch fluted cutter to cut rounds of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Squash the dough scraps together, roll, and cut more rounds, repeating until you’ve used all the dough. Chill until firm, 20 minutes.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with the remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake until the tops are golden, and the biscuits are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool to warm or room temperature.
Meanwhile, make the whipped crème fraîche: Combine the heavy cream, crème fraîche, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip and beat on medium-high until the mixture just holds soft peaks. Cover and chill until needed.
Prepare the berries: A half hour before serving, toss together the berries, sugar, lemon or lime juice, and salt. Let sit at room temperature to draw out the juices, at least 10 minutes or up to two hours.
To serve, carefully slice the biscuits in half (a small serrated knife works well) and place the bottoms on plates. Top each with a generous dollop of whipped crème fraîche, a mound of berries and their juice, and the top biscuit. Serve immediately.
Find more amazing gluten-free recipes in Alanna’s book Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours, available here!
Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin