Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer Pudding

'Tis the season ! The beginning of steamy hot summer days. I must say though, as much as I enjoy sunshine, even after 23 years of living in the USA, my wee Scottish internal thermometer still cannot handle the heat and humidity of a Maryland summer. Add to that 'the vapors' or as you probably know them 'hot flashes', and you have a dangerous combination of a steaming, red haired, glow in the dark Scottish 'wuman' who is a force to be reckoned with ! I yearn for a downpour of Glasgow rain, seven days out of seven. The rain over here in summer time, seems to always be accompanied by Warner Bros. type thunder and lightening, the likes of which I had never before experienced.
That being said, I do love living here, and am fortunate enough to live by the river in a town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It's the same distance to the sea as it is to Washington, DC, but during the summer, the day trip destination is always the beach. How lucky I am !
Now the recipe I'm sharing with you today, is a favourite British summer dessert. When I lived in Scotland, I made it several times when the berry crops were in season. I have also made this with success using frozen berries at other times of the year.


5 cups of mixed berries [blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries even cherries or currants]
1/2 to 2/3 cups of sugar
1 small dense white sandwich bread [such as Pepperidge Farm] crusts removed; or brioche also works well


Select a 2 pint bowl and cut sliced bread to completely line the bowl, with enough left to seal the top. Make sure there are no gaps.
Next, put all your berries in a heavy saucepan along with 1/2 cup of sugar. I tend to keep some strawberries and raspberries out to add later in order to keep them all from becoming soft. I like some texture in my pudding !
Gently heat the mixture for about 5 minutes, but DO NOT BOIL. Test the sweetness and add extra sugar if desired. BE CAREFUL IT IS HOT ! You want the sugar to dissolve but you don't want to break down all your beautiful berries. If it takes longer than 5 minutes to dissolve your sugar, that's ok, just don't rush it, be gentle.
At this point you can add the strawberries and raspberries if you kept some aside. Warm them through for a couple of minutes.
Now immediately strain your fruit into a bowl. Do not press, just let it drip. Put the fruit aside in another bowl for now. Here is a trick you won't find in many Summer Pudding recipes : To avoid having white patches in your final creation due to the bread not soaking up the juices, dip each slice that you have cut, in the juice, and return it to it's place lining the bowl. You can also line the bowl with cling-wrap before replacing the bread to assist when inverting it on to a plate to serve.
Now spoon all your succulent berries into the bread lined bowl, and pour some reserved juice in to fill. Keep the rest of the juice chilled to pour over pudding before serving.
Place enough soaked bread slices on the top [or bottom as it will be when inverted] to completely seal the pudding [it doesn't matter how they look as long as there are no gaps].
Place bowl in a basin to collect drips if it overflows. Now place a small plate over pudding and put a heavy can on top to weigh mixture down. 
This is a picture of a pudding where the bread has not been pre-soaked.
Refrigerate overnight but it turns out best if it sits for 24 hours before serving.
To serve :
If you did not line your bowl with cling-wrap [ I have never had any trouble releasing the pudding], run a spatula around the bowl, place your serving plate on top and flip entire bowl over to release pudding. If you use cling-wrap, you do not need to run spatula round bowl.
Pour over reserved juice and serve with lightly whipped sweet cream or ice-cream.....ENJOY !  
NOTE : This pudding can also be successfully made in individual bowls, very impressive for a dinner party, plus the longer they are refrigerated the better.....leaving you to enjoy your own party !

Main Photograph by Anthony Blake

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  1. What is the font you used for the title of summer pudding?

  2. I hate to say this, but I'm really not sure. I've gone over my editing, but my non-tech self can't seem to figure it out ! All I can say is, it is a form of script, not very helpful, but I know it is a general, readily available font for sure....I have not advanced to creating or downloading new fonts.