Summer Berry Pudding By Florence Fabricant

FloFab made this luscious dessert for a low fat pot luck dinner I gave one summer in Amagansett. It’s become a summer stable for me.

From New Home Cooking, Clarkson/Potter, copyright 1992 

1 lb load thin-sliced white sandwich bread
1.5 cups sugar
Juice of a lemon
2.5 pints mixed fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, fresh currants)
3 tbsp Framboise (raspberry au-de-vie)

        Select a two-quart mixing bowl. Remove crusts from break and arrange the slices, trimming them to shape where necessary to completely line the bowl with no gaps. Reserve remaining bread to cover top.

        Place the sugar in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the lemon juice. When the sugar starts to melt after a couple of minutes, add the berries. Stir gently and cook until all the sugar has dissolved and the berries have given up their juice, 5 to 8 minutes. The berries should be soft but still hold their shape, and there should be a rich berry-colored syrup in the pan. Add the framboise.

       Using a slotted spoon, transfer the berries to the bread-lined bowl. Pour all but about ¼ cup of the syrup over the top. The bowl should be nearly filled. Fit pieces of the reserved bread on top of the pudding to cover the berries.

       Place a china plate that will fit into the bowl on top of the pudding. Place a heavy jar or tin can on top to weight the pudding. Some of the syrup will begin to ooze up and that’s fine.

      Refrigerate the pudding and reserved syrup at least eight hours or overnight.

      To serve, run a knife around the inside of the bowl and unmold the pudding onto a plate with enough of a rim to catch any excess syrup. Use the reserved syrup to paint any areas where the color did not completely soak in.

      Florence serves this with whipped cream. Those of us intent on discipline can serve it with no-fat yoghurt (preferably drained an hour or two in a coffee filter) into which we stir l tablespoon brown sugar and a splash of rum.


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