Thursday, July 22, 2010

Berry Summer Pudding

This past Tuesday was my turn to host our bimonthly small quilt group. Everyone looks forward to these two Tuesdays each month, not only for the camaraderie and latest news, but also for the desserts.

When I sign up to make the dessert, I try to select something a bit unique, and my quilt ladies are game to be guinea pigs. This time I chose Summer Pudding by Ina Garten because it is berry season here and I thought it would be appropriate to showcase the strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries from the local farmers market.

It's a simple recipe that is prepared the day before. You make a syrup with the strawberries, then toss in the blueberries and most of the raspberries, simmering for a minute or two. Then you stir in the remaining raspberries and begin constructing the pudding, alternating layers of brioche with the berry mixture.

After building the pudding, you place it in the refrigerator with a weight (heavy can) on top to compact the layers and help the brioche soak up the liquid. Although the recipe doesn't state this, I placed the mold on top of a small, foil-lined sheet pan. Good thing, too, because the excess syrup overflowed onto the pan. I'd rather throw away the foil and clean the pan than clean out the refrigerator.

The serving portions are topped with whipped cream. While the recipe suggests a rum-flavored whipped cream, I kept mine plain. First, the plain topping helps offset the sweetness of the dessert, and second, one of my friends does not consume alcohol, so for her, I left it out of both the pudding and the whipped cream.

We all loved the dessert. Copies of the recipe went home with my friends. It was great to find a unique and fancy-type dessert that was easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time.

And, yes, it really was a lurid magenta color.

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