I am intrigued by traditional English puddings because they have such great comfort food qualities to them. A rich bread pudding is my all-time favourite dessert obviously. However, I do wish to expand my repertoire. Summer pudding is a simple pudding of a mold lined with bread and filled with macerated fruit. In those hot summer months when berries are aplenty and turning on the oven is the last thing that I want to do, this is a wonderful dessert to make.
The following isn't really a recipe but more like a general direction of how to assemble a summer pudding. Depending on the size and shape of the mold that you use, the amount of ingredients varies.
- good quality white sandwich bread, sliced (I prefer the white pullman bread from Bakery Nakamura in J-Town)
- medley of berries, enough to fill your choice of mold(s)
- lemon zest, finely grated
- lemon juice
- Grand Marnier
- raspberry puree
- Line the mold with plastic wrap with plenty of overhang. I prefer to use a round bottom bowl of about 5 inches diameter for easy unmolding.
- Wash and dry the berries. In a large bowl, toss together berries with sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and Grand Marnier. Let it macerate for about an hour in room temperature so the sugar can draw out juices from the berries. If you use blueberries, you may want to lightly crush some of them.
- Trim the crust from the bread. Cut the bread to size so that they line the inside of the bowl neatly. Neat is the key here because once you unmold, your handiwork will be the exterior of the pudding! You want it to look pretty.
- Fill the bread-lined bowl with berries and juice. Close your pudding with one layer of bread. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the pudding.
- Over the pudding with a large plate and weigh down the plate with...something heavy such as a large can of tomato. Chill in the fridge for at least 24hr until the juice saturate the bread. You want the bread to turn from white to deep pink.
- When you're ready to serve, unmold the pudding and peel off the plastic wrap. Drown with more raspberry puree if there are still any white area on the bread. Serve with creamy yogurt or for a richer alternative, whipped mascarpone cheese.