Food. Simple Dessert Recipe Summer Pudding, Delicious Fruit Delight with bread or brioche in three easy steps!
Pretty Pudding for Summer Sumptiousness
Making the Mounded Masterpiece!
Once again, as in so many of these rustic British Recipes, the ingredients depend upon what is seasonal and available at the time. The basis of the Summer Pudding is the good old sliced white bread, I expect you could use wholemeal bread but I have never tried it so I can't recommend it, though I expect it would impart a nice nutty flavor.
Suitable fruits for Summer Pudding Are the well loved Summer berries like Raspberries, Strawberries, Gooseberries,and Red, White and Black Currants. Sumptuous Banquets are graced by this pretty dessert dressed up with delicious accompaniments like tiny chocolate cakes and a medley of mixed summer berries set off with the jewel like Red Currants. The puddings can be made in tea cups so are ideal for wedding reception banquets where prettiness is at a premium and a high class delicious dessert can be prepared for hundreds without breaking the bank.
Summer Pudding has been a high point of the English tea time or after dinner delight since late Victorian times as the mild English summer is perfect for growing soft fruit like raspberries and strawberries. The ubiquitous Red Currant is also widely grown in England and gives the Summer Pudding its hint of tartness amongst the sweet berries. As these are rarely seen in the USA, a squeeze of lemon juice is perfect to acquire this hint of sharpness.
The Fruit Compote is formed into a colorful dome by being encased in stale white bread, or better still Brioche, the eggy, slightly sweet French bread. I have discovered that Brioche is easy to make in a standard bread maker and is well worth the effort. What better use for the stale leftover Brioche than a beautiful Summer Pudding. Sadly in our house the Brioche has to be hidden to save any slices otherwise it all gets gobbled up! If you do make it, be warned as it definitely has the ability to disappear spontaneously.
Here is a suggested recipe. As I have mentioned, this pudding lends itself to the use of soft fruits in season and can also be adapted for stone fruits like cherries, plums and apricots etc. The bread or brioche should be stale, ideally two days old, so that juices can soak into the bread still holding its shape, instead of making it soggy. Another point to remember is that the pudding should be prepared the day before it is needed to be served so that the juices can work their magic on the bread.
Summer fruits or prepared Stone Fruits about 2 lbs
Stale White Bread or Brioche, enough to line basin
1 lemon if no red currants are available
A 2 pint pudding basin............plastic wrap or butter to grease the basin if preferred
Third of a cup of sugar..(or more to taste)
Safe pan to cook the acid fruits (not aluminum, copper or brass.
Weight, (can of beans?) and a plate smaller than the top of the pudding basin to compress the pudding.
Prepare fruit by removing stalks and leaves, or pits and stones if using stone fruit.
Gently heat the fruit in a pan with a little water added with the sugar until the fruit begins to burst, just a few minutes should suffice. Leave to cool.
Either grease the pudding bowl with butter or line it carefully with plastic wrap.
Cut up the bread, first removing the crusts, into suitable shapes to line the basin completely. No spaces should be seen as this wlll form the outer shell to hold in the runny contents.
Carefully add the cooled fruit mixture to the basin until almost to the top. Prepare a "lid" for your basin from the stale bread. Cover with a loose layer of plastic wrap and place the slightly smaller plate on top weighted down with a suitable heavy object like a can of beans.
Place in the refrigerator over night until ready to serve.
Remove weight, plastic wrap and plate. Loosen sides with a palette knife if buttered. Place a larger pretty plate on top and invert quickly. Remove plastic wrap if used. Decorate with berries especially red currants. Serve with cream, ice cream or yogurt as preferred. Enjoy!