I have made this most summers I have been home in Seattle in August when we (finally!) get really hot weather. This recipe is my own amalgam of many versions I have made over the years, since living in Enlgand as a teenager, and having for the first time. There are a few on the internet, but none that I like as well as my own version that turns out perfect every time.
This is my favorite translation of the bounty of summer fruit besides raw for breakfast, with greek yogurt, or making jams, etc. canned or frozen.
This is a party-worthy dessert, that - yes!- even those of you waiting out the huriccane can make. As long as your refridgeration is still good. :)
The bounty of summer, in a bowl or loaf pan...
English Summer Pudding
2 cups strawberries (everbearing locals are best)
2 cups blackberries
2 cups raspberries
1 cup other berries; blueberries, currants, salal berries, gooseberries. (If you use some of these more tart berries, you might want to up the sugar by a TBSP or 2...)
Divide berries after steps 1&2.
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel, from a rasp or microplane
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 loaf fine quality white sandwish bread *, 'staled", by leaving out on the counter overnight, to dry out a bit.
*nearly the only time I buy this; pepperidge farm firm white, good local bakery artisanal loaf, sliced thinly -You can ask to have sliced at bakeries! I never use it like this unless for such a recipe...
Whipping Cream, Heavy, 1 pt.
Vanilla or a vanilla bean
Sugar to taste if you prefer sweet whipped cream
1. clean the berries gently, strawberries being rinsed, raspberries and black berries picked over, and if dirty or sandy, gently dribbled with water and patted gently with paper towels. Stem strawberried, and cut into 1/4's or 1/2's if large (smaller pieces are good for this recipe).
2. In a large bowl, gently mix all the berries well, saving a few of each for garnish.
3. Put 1/2 the berries into a large saucepan with the sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice.
4. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring up from the bottom a few times. Simmer for about 3-6 minutes until the berries give up jouice and soften, but are mostly still intact. Take off heat immediately and allow to cool.
5. Prepare pudding mold*; take wither a 2 qt bowl or a 9x5 loaf pan and line with plastic wrap, leaving a gerous overhang. If you like, you can spray the mold with oil spray, but I don't find I need to. Plastic sticks to glass or plastic just fin. Line the mold with bread slices - with crusts cut off, and cutting the pieces to fit your mold so that all is lined evenly with no gaps or spaces.
You will also need crust-free bread for a couple of layerings in the mold, and to cover the top. prep these now or as you go.
6. When the berry mix has cooled at least mostly, gently stir, then stir in the uncooked berries. Put 2 cups of the berry mix into the bread lined bowl/mold. Put a layer of trimmed bread over this, and gently firm. Top with more berries, and more bread, repeating procedure. When bowl/mold is filled, top with a layer of breat. Soak with berry juices to settle. wrap plastc overhang over top.
7. Refridgerate for an hour or two to firm, then place a plate on top slightly smaller than mold on top, and gently wieght down, with a couple of cans. Leave in fridge for 12 hours at least before unmolding. 15-18 at most.
8. Whip cream and sweeten if desired, as well as adding vanilla. I like unsweetened with vanilla added.
9. remove weight, plate, and covering wrap from pudding. Place a serving plate over top, and flip to invert pudding onto plate. Shake gently and unmold. You may have excess juice that runs out, so over the sink is a good choice now. Wipe serving plate, remove plastic wrap covering lovely summer berry pudding. Serve with whipped cream to your delighted guests.
I may have made it too clinical in the recipe, but this is a TO DIE FOR no-cook summer berry dessert. Go and make it! :)
*Note: I like a 2 qt bowl, but you can use a 9x5 loaf pan if you prefer. It is easier to weight a bowl with a plate, than find something to wieght down the loaf pan, plus I like the round shape. Your choice:). Also, This works better with 'big wrap', aka costco or commercial sized food plastic, as a seam in the wrap can leak, and be messy to unmold. Ok if your fine with it, just a heads up!.