Cliché “New York City Moments” kind of make me sick to my stomach, but when I passed a random guy selling cheap cartons of fresh strawberries out of his truck on a side street in Brooklyn , I couldn’t help but think how out of place, and yet “So Brooklyn,” it was (Did you just roll your eyes? Yea, exactly). And I bought 3 lbs. of strawberries without stopping to think about what I’d actually do with them, of course. At the time my plan was “shovel handfuls of strawberries into mouth,” but after downing one of the cartons, I decided to do something a little more creative with the other two.
I’d never had a malted milk shake, and after discovering malted barley powder as a vegan ice cream topping, I’ve been in love with the idea of malt-y desserts. My experience with malt is limited to malt vinegar, which as a proud Marylander I know from dredging Old Bay fries in the stuff. I didn’t have barley malt, so malt vinegar would have to do. And oh, it did.
Tangy strawberries with sweet, rich cashew “whipped cream” served in baked phyllo cups are a fantastic, rich dessert for when you have too many strawberries and want to do something fancy, yet simple. These are perfect for impressing a group!
Makes 6-8 servings (at 1 stuffed phyllo cup per serving)
2 lbs. strawberries, washed, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp. malt vinegar (alternatives: balsamic vinegar)
2 tbsp. sweetener
1/4 tsp. salt
For cashew cream:
1 cup soaked cashews
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/8 cup sweetener
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup nondairy milk
2 tsp barley malt powder (optional, if you decide to add it I’d omit the vinegar in the strawberry mixture)
8 individual sheets of phyllo dough
Non-stick spray, or small bowl of canola oil
Combine strawberry ingredients in a bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (the longer it sits, the more liquid-y the strawberry mixture will become).
Combine all cashew ingredients, except for the milk, in a blender and blend. Slowly add the milk until the cream comes together. Spoon the cream into a bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.
To make phyllo cups, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take 1 sheet of phyllo and spray with non-stick spray (or brush with light amount of oil) and place second sheet of phyllo on top. Press gently so that the sheets stick together. Repeat until all 8 sheets are layered. Cut phyllo into squares (depending on how big the sheet is, you could get 6-9 squares).
Place phyllo squares into the cups of a cupcake tin (sprayed with non-stick spray or brushed lightly with oil) and press down gently until the squares take the shape of the cup. Bake for 7-8 minutes, watching closely so that the phyllo doesn’t burn.
Spoon strawberries and cream into the cups, layering in the following order: strawberries, cream, strawberries.