I know I’ve posted this before but there are a lot of things that need repeating and this just happens to be one of them. I mean honestly, you’d be hard pressed to find something easier to make never mind that we can’t let a summer go by without making a Summer Pudding, now can we? My personal favorite is adapted from Ina Garten’s, at Foodnetwork.com.
Simply constructed from fresh strawberries along with raspberries and blueberries with a small amount of added sugar, it truly shows off berry flavors at their finest in a semi tart oh so delicious manner. Best of all it suits the requirements of a beach dessert because there’s nothing fancy needed to put the whole thing together –just a pot to cook the berries in, a bowl to make the mold and a minimum 24 hours so it has time to ruminate in the refrigerator. While last night’s version used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, the latter two were frozen but the strawberries were fresh and blackberries would have been a great addition too. It matters not what kind of berries, or their combination as long as there’s 8 cups of the flavorful little gems.
It was our contribution to a fabulous July 4th dinner hosted by Lorraine, of Figs and Artichokes and enjoyed enormously by both of us together with her lovely MIL and friends. Lorraine’s truly an extraordinary hostess and warmly welcomed us to her beautiful home with its fabulous dream worthy kitchen and incredible view of the great Pacific. The food was sublime, and the company exceptional, but I’ll have to leave it to her to tell you all about it…I just know I for one will be watching anxiously for recipes!
As for today – as I write this, Big Guy’s out on Ona Beach walking the dogs and checking out the clamming. We’ve got to burn some calories because otherwise another week of this vacation stuff and it is unlikely either of us will have any clothes left that’ll fit us. I sure wish we didn’t like to eat so much but otherwise I guess we wouldn’t like cooking either which means we wouldn’t be visiting like this now would we.
Of course after working out we’ll have to do something about breakfast and then we’ll need to hit the library for reading material and then it’ll just about be time for a nap, and then we’ll have to think about what’s for dinner before the ocean turns pink and we start thinking about bedtime. Boy – vacationing is sure hard work.
Summer Berry Pudding (from JBug’s Kitchen, adpated from Food Network, Ina Garten)
If you’re unable to find brioche a regular loaf of good quality white bread works just as well. I used a pre-sliced Milk and Honey loaf for this one.
4 cups strawberries, hulled & sliced
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 cups raspberries, divided
2 cups blueberries
2 Tablespoons orange liquor (or limoncello)
1 loaf brioche (1-1/2 pounds)
Combine strawberries, sugar and ¼ cup water in medium saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Reserving half the raspberries, add the balance of raspberries, along with the blueberries and blackberries. Cook until mixture reaches a simmer. Remove from heat. Add remaining raspberries and liquor.
Slice the bread in ½ inch slices and remove crusts. Line bowl or soufflé dish with plastic wrap, being sure all areas are covered and leaving approx. 3 inches overhang on all sides. Ladle about ½ cup of berry mixture into bottom of mold. Arrange slices of bread in a pattern (it’ll be the top when it’s unmolded, so make it pretty), then add more berry mixture to saturate. Continue adding bread, cutting to fit mold, and the berry mixture. Finish with bread, then berries, using all of the fruit and syrup. Place sheet of plastic wrap loosely over the pudding. Weight with a plate, then heavy can, being sure the plate fits inside the pudding mold. Refrigerate with weight on top for a minimum of 8 hours. Remove weight, cover pudding with more plastic wrap & fold excess plastic wrap from sides of mold up over the top and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, unfold plastic wrap & remove top layer of plastic wrap. Invert pudding onto serving plate. Shake to release from mold, or run a butter knife around the edge of the mold, being careful not to cut through the plastic wrap, then invert onto plate. Peel off all plastic wrap. To serve, cut into slices and serve with whipped cream.