This isn’t my first Valentine’s Day post. As I’m discussed before (here, here and here), since childhood, it has always been a fun occasion to remind people I care about them, share a home-cooked meal and spend quality time together. I’m not into the commercialized version, with fancy restaurant meals and expensive gifts (but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I got a few cute home items in the dollar section of Target).
Two years ago, as part of my Retro Cooking series, I made a 1960’s strawberry Bavarian pie with coconut crust, inspired by an old Jell-o advertisement. I had picked the recipe because my husband was avoiding wheat and dairy so it seemed like a good compromise between health-restrictions and tasty dessert.
While the original recipe was pretty tasty (and the coconut crust was a nice surprise), I was curious to find a way to modernize it with ingredients that were less processed and more natural flavors.
Here are the main modifications I made:
- Forego the coconut crust and turn it into a sprinkle of coconut on top for a nice crunch
- Use unflavored gelatin instead of the sugar-filled strawberry Jell-O
- Use fresh strawberries cooked on the stovetop instead of frozen ones
- Use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip
You could easily use a different berry (or mixture) based on your personal preference
- 2 envelopes (0.5 oz total) of unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 7 oz of fresh strawberries, washed and stems removed
- 3 teaspoons of maple syrup, divided
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of homemade whipped cream (using heavy whipping cream)
- 2 teaspoons of unsweetened coconut flakes
- In a small saucepan, cooked the strawberries on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Stir occasionally until the strawberry are soft and fragrant.
- For a better texture, purée the strawberry mixture with an immersion blender
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the boiling water and the gelatin.
- Add to the mixing bowl the strawberries, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until the texture is smooth.
- To make the whipped cream, you can either use an immersion blender or the whisk attachement of your electric mixer. Since it’s a small quantity, it really shouldn’t take much more than a minute to make.
- Add the whipped cream to the mixing bowl and whisk until well blended.
- Divide and pour the mixture in two lightly greased ramekins.
- Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving.
- Sprinkle coconut flakes on top, mid-refrigeration (you don’t want it to sink into the mixture) or just before serving. I also sprinkled maple sugar chunks, which are a nice addition when available.
Meanwhile, since my husband’s diet is even more restrictive than it was two years ago (he now avoid sugar as much as possible as well as wheat and most dairy), I tried making a bonus version for him that is mostly in line with his diet.
His was a lot simpler to make: Basically it is the same gelatin based but instead of the whipped cream and strawberries, I used something I know he can eat…Chobani Less Sugar Strawberry Greek Yogurt. I added a teaspoon of erythritol and a teaspoon of vanilla extract for a sweet dessert flavor. On top, I sprinkled unsweetened coconut flakes and cacao nibs.