The Gleeful Gourmand: Summer Berry Pudding

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Berry Pudding

We have an addiction problem in our household right now, and the youngest members of our family seem to be particularly caught in its grasp. Thankfully it's a seasonal addiction, which means that come fall, this will all be a distant memory.

Strawberry Addiction. It is not to be trifled with. Well, actually you can trifle with it and that would be pretty darn tasty with maybe some whipped cream and perhaps some chocolate. But let me back up.

It all started with me wanting to make a Summer Berry Pudding, a recipe I've seen in different variations in a lot of places lately. The Pudding is not actually pudding (like Jell-O), of course, but is the term the British use when describing dessert. Layers of stewed berries and fluffy, sweet brioche bread that meld together in what can only be described as a holy matrimony of flavors for hours on end in the refrigerator. Sweet, bursting with berry goodness and colors that scream "Summertime!" and also "Patriotism!" After all, it's Memorial Day Weekend, and when served with a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream, this dessert could practically sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" all by itself.

Except that it's British. But pretend you don't know that, and it's the perfect dessert for your cookout this weekend.

So there I was in the kitchen, the girls playing quietly on the sunporch as I washed, hulled, and sliced my way to berry dessert heaven (I hoped. I was actually kind of nervous because while this is a simple recipe, the construction of it is a little nerve-wracking). I'm getting ready to throw the strawberries into my pot with sugar and water to start the stewing when I hear the patter of tiny feet coming up behind me. There is a pause, and I tense, because I know exactly what's coming.

"Dobbies?" Oh crap, it's Savannah, and she has seen what I'm doing. She knows there are strawberries.

I turn around quickly and smile. "Hi honey!" I whip back around and hope that will throw her off. It does not.


"Not right now, sweetie."


A second pair of tiny feet pad into the kitchen behind me, and Delia catches on pretty quickly to the game.

"Dobbies? Dobbies? Dobbies? Dobbies!!!!!!!!!"

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sugar, Chambord, and brioche in layered goodness.
I cave and give them both two slices of strawberries thinking this will pacify them. It does not. These girls are greedy with two things: Cheese, and fruit. They know I have more, and even though I've thrown them in the pot now, that doesn't matter. They will not be denied! I try to calmly and rationally explain that I need the dobb - er - strawberries, and say "All done!" as cheerfully as I can. They will not be consoled. What in the world was I thinking, trying to do this in the 45 minute-window right before lunch? Why couldn't I have waited until they were down for their nap? Savannah is on the floor now, wailing like I've beheaded her favorite stuffed toy.

I am seriously regretting my choices, because even though all the berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) are bubbling gently on the stove, I'm now slicing the brioche and the girls go apoplectic. Breaking out in a cold sweat, I resort to throwing the crusts of the brioche at them, and this actually seems to work. They gobble it up in between indignant sniffles. Crusts of bread. Who knew?

The assembly of the pudding goes very well, and the smell is heavenly. I did have to try out a few different plates to find the one that will fit inside my soufflé dish (the pudding has to be weighted for 6 to 8 hours), though, with a big can of Progresso on top.

Finally, the girls have had their lunch and are down for their nap, the pudding is in the refrigerator and I'm left to stress out in blessed silence on whether or not this thing will actually turn out all right.
It was worth all the tears, I promise.

It does, and it was spectacular. You will not regret making this dessert, no matter how many tears are shed in the process. It is a show-stopper of a dessert. Just make sure you don't try to make it around those with strawberry addictions. You can find the recipe here: Summer Berry Pudding.

P.S. - A note about this dessert: Do not un-mold it until just before you serve. Seriously. Because of the compression, there is so much liquid that comes out of it as it settles on the plate. I ended up having to dribble the liquid off the plate 3 times, and still there was more. So, un-mold, let everyone say "Ahh!" and serve immediately.


Kieran said...

"Dobbies" has got to be the cutest kid vernacular I've heard since mine were little!

Jenna said...

Yes! It is ridiculously cute. Until they start screaming. And wailing. ;)

Post a Comment