I just returned from Leesburg, Indiana where I spent three days eating a wide variety of delicious dishes prepared with duck, courtesy of Maple Leaf Farms (more on that in an upcoming post), and when I got home the garden had exploded with growth from a few days of rain and heat. It was as if I had been gone for weeks. Our laissez-faire strawberry patch has been producing a good amount of fruit despite its neglect, and I supplemented that with some berries from Aspen Moon Farm and some rhubarb from our garden to make these individual crisps. Last month I received a free sample of yacon syrup and I have been experimenting with it in cooking–it is being touted as a straight supplement for weight loss, but I am more interested in using it as a natural sweetener that is lower glycemic than most. It worked really well here, and this is very low in sugar for a dessert.
Yacon is a tuberous plant from South America, and the syrup is made via an evaporation process similar to maple syrup. It is thick, dark, and has a molasses-like flavor that is appealing, and it is high in inulin and has considerably fewer calories than table sugar. So far I have whisked some into a vinaigrette, drizzled some on yogurt, and used it for this dessert. A little bit goes a long way to add sweetness and flavor, which is good because it is a fairly pricey sugar alternative. If you are trying to reduce sugars I would recommend it for smaller baking projects.
The strawberries were small and sweet and I used a low ratio of rhubarb to minimize the need for extra sugars. We really loved these individual desserts and found the sweet-to-tart ratio to be perfect, but if you want something sweeter you can increase the amount of syrup you add to the fruit. Don’t adjust the amount in the topping, however, as it is already fairly wet. You can also do a straight swap with honey if you don’t want to use the yacon syrup–the end result will be a little sweeter that way, and higher glycemic.
- 2 cups chopped, fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup chopped rhubarb
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon yacon syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon yacon syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries, rhubarb, and one tablespoon of arrowroot to coat. Stir in the teaspoon of yacon syrup and the vanilla.
- In another small bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut, and remaining arrowroot. Use a fork to cut in the butter, and then stir in the syrup. It will be fairly wet.
- Lightly butter two, 8 ounce ramekins. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between both, and then use a spoon to spread the topping evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins in a baking dish with a rim, as you will get some spill-over from the bubbling fruit.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and the fruit juices are bubbly and appear to be thickened. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Homegrown strawberries are one of the best possible reasons to have a garden. We don’t have much time left in our season, but I will try to get in another strawberry recipe before it ends. If you don’t have access to your own berries it is definitely worth the time to find a local farmstand that sells them–the flavor and texture are really superior to anything you can buy from a store.
Thanks for reading,