Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Pudding

A summery pudding that refreshes and delights
It's summer, the perfect season for outdoor activities, vacations, sea-side promenades, family gatherings in mountains to enjoy the cool night, or by the sea to profit from the refreshing breeze.  

But above all, summer is the season for the best fruits and what is more summery than delicious summer berries. Whether eaten fresh or in desserts, summer berries never disappoint. What's better is that the great variety of berries will surely satisfy even the most picky eaters. Summer berries are the highlight of a refreshing and delightful summer treat that will satisfy your craving for a sweet, fruity and cold treat that give you, albeit temporary, a relief from the oppressive summer heat.

Bread has been a staple food since the earliest civilizations. In addition, stale bread was used since time by-gone in sweet and savory puddings which is a clever way to avoid wasting such a precious food commodity.  However, it is believed that summer pudding appeared in the 19th century Britain which consisted of  a pudding flavored with summer fruits especially  raspberries and redcurrants.

During my visit to Barcelona, I passed by its famous food market, La Boqueria, where you can find almost everything you can imaging. They had a variety of excellent berries so I couldn't resist buying some. Mind you, I consumed a lot of them fresh, and they were yummy. But I wanted to feature these berries in a dessert that would honor their taste and texture and what better than a home-style summer pudding.  
Summer berries are some of the most appealing and tasty fruits
For this recipe you will need (for a small bowl about 8 cm in height and 10 cm  in diameter):
  • 500 g of summer berries. I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and redcurrants. You can use the mix of fruits you desire.
  • Brioche bread: about 9 pieces. You can use other breads, but the brioche's butteriness and soft texture complement the tartness of the fruits.
  • A teaspoon of vanilla.
  • 100 g of sugar or a bit more if you want it sweeter. This would vary depending on the sweetness of the berries you are using.
The recipe is easy to realize, just follow these steps:

In a saucepan combine about 200 g of the berries with the sugar. Let them simmer on a low heat for few minutes until the fruits exude their juices and the sugar is well dissolved and combined with the fruity nectar.  Off the heat, mix the remaining fruits with the cooked berries.
Make sure there is enough syrup to cover the bread. In case you aren't sure, add some a tablespoon or two of water.

The four basic steps needed to prepare this dessert
While the fruits are cooling, line your bowl with plastic. Prepare your bread by removing some of the brown crust it has and start lining the bowl with the bread. Add the fruits and cover the top with the remaining bricohe bread. Seal it with plastic and refrigerate over night. Press down the pudding with a plate; this helps to get the pudding together and not fall apart as it you remove it from the bowl.
Candied rose petals add a romantic and luxurious touch to any dessert
The next day, remove the plastic that covers the top of the pudding, and then turn the pudding on the serving plate. Remove the plastic that covers the sides.
Decorating the pudding with rose petals

Decorate it as you wish. I used sugar glazed rose petals to give it a summery and romantic touch.
Crystallized rose petals adorn the pudding
The dessert is great on its own, but it can be served along with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  
Serve with vanilla ice cream for a more summery feel

No comments:

Post a Comment