This is my variation on the renowned English Summer Pudding. It was originally created and tested for my book, but was omitted, along with other desserts, to make room for more savory recipes and also for the gorgeous Penny De Los Santos’ pictures.
Read more HERE.
Traditionally English Summer Pudding is served with double cream but mascarpone is for me the ideal cherry-on-top, though in this case it is white-on-red.
Conveniently, it is one of the sweets that have to be prepared at least a day in advance and can be left in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
The recipe is based on one from the July 2007 Gourmet magazine.
About 1 loaf of Pumpkin, Tangerine and Marmalade Bread (half the recipe) crusts removed (see note)
4 cups sour cherries or blueberries
5 cups strawberries, halved or quartered, depending on their size
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved and tossed with 3-4 tablespoons lemon or orange liqueur
Cut the bread into 14 slices, each less than ½ inch thick. Cut out a 3 inch round from 1 slice and lay at the bottom of a deep, 2 1/2-quart bowl, about 8 inches on top and 3 inches at the base.
Line the sides of the bowl with 10 slices, overlapping them slightly.
In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the sour cherries, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 8 minutes or more until the berries soften, releasing their juices.
Spoon the fruit into a sieve set over a bowl and let drain for 10 minutes. Spoon the drained fruit into the bread-lined bowl, reserving the juices.
Cover the fruit with the remaining bread slices, cutting them to fit snuggly. Pour enough of the reserved juices evenly all over the bread to make sure all the slices are well soaked.
Place the bowl on a larger plate or pan and cover the pudding directly with plastic wrap. Place a plate that fits on top of the bread and plastic wrap inside the bowl. Put a weight – a large can or jar, about 1 1/2-pounds – on the plate and refrigerate the pudding for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Remove the weight, the plate, and the plastic. If the pudding has absorbed all the liquid, add more syrup, if you have any leftover. Cover again with the plastic, plate and weight and refrigerate for another 2-3 hours or up to 2 days.
To serve, remove the weight, small plate and the plastic and place an inverted platter with lip over the bowl. Invert the pudding onto the platter and then very carefully remove the bowl to unmold.
Scatter the liqueur-mixed strawberries around the pudding and top with some mascarpone. Cut wedges and serve with more mascarpone and strawberries on each plate.
You can also use a store-bought, not too fluffy brioche in place of the Pumpkin, Tangerine and Marmalade Bread. You can even use good-quality, firm white bread, about 1 pound, preferably not too fresh. Do not make the pudding with sliced supermarket bread!
You can also make the pudding with sour cherries and apricots or peaches, as I did here, later in the season, when strawberries were no longer available.