Summer Pudding

summer pud
Its berry time! They are on sale EVERYWHERE!! I love them au natural, plopped into my oatmeal, or just an entire bowl full topped with a little cream. But when I feel the need to work a little harder, I make his old-fashioned favorite. It requires no heat, which rocks when the temperature rises. As an added bonus, the end result is stunning.

If you are feeling daring, try adding an herb to the berry mix. I like berries with opal basil, sage, thyme, and even bay. It adds a little something special, and you’ll be hooked on the combination for life.

The preferred bread for this recipe is French pain de mie – a rich, dense white bread. It is baked in a rectangular mold with a lid so the loaves come out with perfectly square edges. The dense nature of the crumb (and more specifically the lack of big holes) makes it a perfect choice for this recipe. If you have trouble finding it and don’t feel like making it, I have graciously provided alternatives for you. You’re welcome.

If you don’t have a 10×2″ cake pan, anything close will work. It can also be easily adapted for smaller individual molds. I like making these summer puddings in cupcake pans.

INGREDIENTS

1 pint raspberries
1 pint blackberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Pinch salt
1 loaf sliced French pain de mie, egg bread, challah, or (gasp!) white bread, crusts removed

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, zest, salt. Mix together gently and set aside at room temperature to macerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Line a 10×2″ cake pan with 2 (18″) long pieces of plastic wrap placed in the pan to form an X. Trim 3-4 pieces of bread into triangles and place them at the bottom of the pan in one layer, overlapping a little. Cut 3-4 pieces of bread into rectangles and line the edges of the pan, overlapping a little. Fill the bread-lined pan with the berry mixture, including all the juice. Trim remaining bread to fit across the top of the berries, overlapping a little. Wrap plastic up and across the pudding. Top with a plate and a little weight, such as a can of tomato sauce, and refrigerate overnight. To serve, unwrap the plastic and invert onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 6-8
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