Updated post with video!
This post was originally written when I was living in Copenhagen. Seems like a long time ago! As I have made another dodgy video of me cooking in my kitchen, I thought I would repost.
During our lockdown Spring, the excellent Darien Library asked me to contribute a video. I found some sliced brioche in Trader Joe’ and instantly thought it would be a perfect lockdown dessert. Flour disappeared from the stores, and this Summer Pudding uses either stale bread or brioche and frozen fruits. In the video, I make individual summer puddings. Below, in the post, I suggest using a loaf tin. The method is the same, so the choice is yours!
End of Summer
There is something both sad and exciting about the end of summer, especially in Denmark where the summers are unpredictable and ridiculously short. This summer in particular has been officially the worst in 40 years, thanks guys! We were so optimistic about parties on the deck, visions of sipping rosé on balmy summer evenings and wondering at the quality of the light so far north. Ah well, maybe next year. And who can resist the thought of hygge days? Warm soups and stews, lashings of mashed potatoes (have I mentioned my potato obsession?) and snuggling under cozy blankets with a nice cup of tea?
I know summer is truly over when chrysanthemums start appearing in the flower shops. I always resist buying them until the last moment as if that will somehow make summer last longer. Sadly, as we know, Resistance is Futile!
Classic British Dessert
However, before we say goodbye to all things summer I want to share a rather fabulous and incredibly easy classic British dessert. Summer Pudding. This dessert is the sort of recipe I love. It makes sense.
What do you do when you have too much soft summer fruit? Not so much of a problem now, but I remember, growing up in Scotland, people would appear at my grandparents door with large bowls of strawberries or raspberries. Neighbours had picked or grown more than they could eat, and were happy to share the love.
As teenagers we would earn a bit of money picking raspberries, Scotland having a perfect climate for that particular soft fruit. I suspect we ate more than we picked. We also foraged for blackberries or brambles as we call them, although again most were probably eaten whilst we were out walking.
If you do end up with too much soft fruit, and making jam is beyond you, make a Summer pudding. Take some old bread, line an old fashioned pudding bowl and fill it with red berries. Put on a lid, again made with sliced white bread. After that you put a small plate with a weight on it to compress the pudding and leave it in the fridge or larder overnight.
Variations of Summer Pudding
My version uses brioche or Challah instead of bread. I also cheat big time, and use a mix of frozen and fresh fruit, which keeps the cost down. It is a great dessert, however if you are fortunate enough to have too many berries from your Victory Garden! Lastly, I make my summer pudding in an oblong loaf tin, which allows for slices of dessert which look slightly less messy, although you can see the process is not too tidy!
End of Summer Pudding
- one large brioche or challah
- 11/2 to 2 lbs of summer fruits, mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, red currents, brambles, either fresh or frozen
- around a 1/3 cup/ 2oz/ 50g sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit
- 1 loaf tin lined with clingfilm, with film large enough to hang down the sides
- Step 1 Place sugar and berries in a large pan and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Step 2 Put a little of the juice in the base of the loaf tin.
- Step 3 Take the crusts off the brioche or challah, and cut into 1/2 inch/1cm slices lengthways.
- Step 4 Cut one slice to fit the bottom of the tin.
- Step 5 Spoon approximately 1/3 of the fruit into the tin, then cover with another slice of the enriched bread.
- Step 6 Be careful not to add too much juice, the remainder will be reduced to serve with the finished pudding.
- Step 7 Continue with adding the fruit and bread until you have three layers of fruit and four layers of bread.
- Step 8 Add a little of the juice to the top layer, to soak the bread
- Step 9 wrap the pudding in the overhanging clingfilm, and cover with a fresh piece of clingfilm.
- Step 10 Put a weight on top of the pudding and place in the fridge overnight or for as long as possible.
- Step 11 It is a good idea to stand the tin in a container to catch any juices which may over flow.
- Step 12 Turn out of the tin and cut into thick slices.
- Step 13 Serve with reduced juices and whipped cream or creme fraiche.