For a more seasonal approach to strawberry shortcake, this Valentine’s Day we’re serving a candied beet and blood orange shortcake. This plant-based treat celebrates the colors of the holiday with deep red blood oranges and beets, which we’ve cooked in a sugar syrup. We replaced the whipped cream with whipped yogurt, so the overall effect is at once homey, earthy, citrus-y and sweet.
Candied Beet and Blood Orange Shortcake
Makes 12 biscuits and enough topping for 6 biscuits
for the candied beets:
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
2 medium beets, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups total)
1/4 cup Anita’s coconut yogurt
for the biscuits:
1/2 cup coconut oil, plus extra for rolling
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Anita’s coconut yogurt, plus extra for brushing
1/2 cup almond milk
for the whipped coconut yogurt:
1 cup Anita’s coconut yogurt
seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 blood oranges, segmented
1/3 cup chopped pistachios
First, make the candied beets. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and melt the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the beet and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the mixture until the sauce becomes thick and the beats are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut yogurt, then pour the candied beets into a bowl to cool to room temperature.
Next, make the biscuits. Ten minutes before making the biscuit dough, move the coconut oil to the freezer. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the coconut oil (it should feel hard and cold to the touch) to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender or two knives to incorporate the oil until the large pieces are pea-sized. Make a well in the center and add the coconut yogurt and almond milk. Fold liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, taking care not to overwork the dough.
Invert bowl onto a lightly floured surface, dust lightly with flour, and pat out to 2″ thickness. Cut the dough into rounds using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a floured cup. Re-roll the scraps and cut more biscuits.
Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets and brush generously with cold yogurt. Bake until the top are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
When ready to assemble, make the whipped coconut yogurt. Combine coconut yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine.
To assemble the shortcakes, split 6 biscuits in half. To each bottom half, added a big spoonful of whipped coconut yogurt, then add a layer each of candied beets and blood orange segments. Add another big spoonful of whipped coconut yogurt and about a tablespoon of chopped pistachios. Serve immediately, with the biscuit top leaning against the shortcake.