Scrumptious berries with very little adornment, cold and tasty, pure and simple surrounded by a layer of white bread – now sweet red bread.  This one really intrigued people.  “What is that?”  “What’s on the outside.”  “What’s on the inside.”  I said well, the outside is bread.  “That’s bread, white bread?” Debbie exclaimed.  Shari and Nancy kept repeating “bread bread?”  Yes, bread bread surrounding an obscene amount of berries and berry juices that sit for a night or two and turn into beautiful and interesting bright red dessert.  Sylvie said she liked it but the outside was the best.  (She does love white bread.)  Darren muttered good good and and Nancy and Rob echoed him.  Someone said awesome and that it looks heavy but its not.  And Jeff said it was perfect for 108 degree day (it was hot and he grilled for us).  I brought this to another BBQ and everyone who tried it gave it the thumbs up.  Jason and Marco especially – my fruit-loving friends.  Serve with freshly whipped cream this is a lovely light and different summer dessert.  Alice Medrich once again really prompts me to try new things.  She said that this summer pudding was described in Helen Gustafson’s memoir The Agony of the Leaves.  And Helen herself recited the recipe to her.  Give it a whirl, it certainly begs for discussion 🙂

This is best if you let it sit for two days although one is fine too.

This serves only about 5 or 6 people – feel free to double it and make two like I did.

berry summer pudding (slightly adapted from Alice Medrich’s book Pure Dessert):

3-4 slices white sandwich bread with a tight crumb
4 cups ripe berries (mixture of raspberries, blackberries and a handful of red currents if possible)
blueberries – I added some fresh blueberries to the recipe — you can ignore or use –
Alice also suggests boysenberries if you have them to put in the mix
1/2 cup sugar (well, to taste)
2 pinches kosher salt

serve with freshly whipped cream

Grease a 1 quart bowl (5-6 inches across the top and 3-4 inches deep) and line it with plastic wrap.  Try to press it into the bowl as crease free as possible.  Make sure there is overhang too.

Cut the crusts off the bread. then cut the bread in wedges.  Place the wedges in the bowl – trying to minimize space in between.  Feel free to press the bread together to make a tight fix.

In a nonreactive saucepan (big enough so that the berries are only 1-2 layers deep) heat the berries and sugar.  Turn them gently so that they throw off their juices.  You want to do this slowly and do not boil.  As Alice says, ” the aim is not to cook the berries but only to warm them and coax forth their juices.”

Adjust the sugar if necessary, add the pinch or 2 of salt.  At this point I threw in a few uncooked blueberries just for fun.  Up to you.

Spoon the prepared berries into the bread lined bowl.  Then fit more bread on top to cover.  Then fold the plastic wrap over to cover.  Next place a small saucer on top and weight it with a can of beans or something heavy.  Then place in the fridge at least overnight – 1 or 2 days even better.

To unmold, pull back the wrap and invert bowl onto plate – center it because it is hard to move after you invert it.  Serve with fresh berries and freshly whipped cream.

Enjoy –

Recommended Posts