Like a cross between a shortbread and a clafoutis…or clafoutis on shortbread.  The original recipe called for an enormous amount of sugar. When this happens take a step back and think about it. Is all that sugar really necessary? Aren’t fresh strawberries pretty sweet with just a sprinkling of cane sugar or a little honey? In the end I used 2/3 of a cup of maple syrup. This makes for a denser topping I suppose but gives more depth to the taste too. Baking with maple syrup needs a little extra  thought. When substituting sweeteners care needs to be taken with other elements in the recipe. Often when substituting maple syrup it is necessary to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe.  In this case however the strawberries balanced worked well as a counter sweetener to the syrup and the dense topping made for a fruity smooth square.

 


Ingredients

Base:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup flour
  • scant 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Strawberry topping

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour

Making

Make the base first. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees f. Lightly butter the base and sides of a 9 x 13 inch dish. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar and the coconut if using. Using your fingers or a pastry blender cut in the butter until the mixture is crumb like. Pour into the prepared dish and press out until evenly distirubuted over the bottom. Don’t worry if the base seems thin. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until the edges turn golden.

Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 325.

To make the topping whisk the eggs well and blend in the maple syrup. Whisk in the flour. Pour this over the hot baked crust and bake for about 35 minutes or until the topping seems set. Wait until completely cool before cutting into squares and drizzling with a little icing sugar to serve.