Friday, May 8, 2009

When Good Dessert Goes Bad

I'm no Brit. I've never been to the U.K. and am not an expert in their cuisine. I didn't seem daunted by this when I began creating my own version of a summer pudding. I know 'pudding' is a general term for dessert in the U.K. but, a summer pudding is a very specific type of dessert. Using sliced white bread as it's 'crust' and cooked fresh fruit for the filling, it sounded straight forward enough to me.

I wasn't creating the recipe just for fun. I'm working on a new cookbook for Williams Sonoma and they requested the dessert. So I did my research, reading tons of recipes for summer pudding, comparing methods, and spending an arm and a leg on the barely in season blueberries I needed for the filling.

I cooked the berries a bit and added orange zest, sugar, and a pinch of nutmeg. It tasted great. I then lined my bowl with buttered bread, cooled the filling and poured it in, and topped it off with more bread so the filling was totally encased. I weighted it down in the fridge and let it sit overnight. When I unmolded it, this mass of purple stained tie-dye looking bread plopped out. It wasn't pretty. I cut into it and served it to my family, along with a few other desserts I was testing out. Ugh! It was horrible. The bread got gummy, the filling was too thick, and it looked awful.

Help! I need another recipe for this English dessert. It is supposed to be blueberry filled and should be simple. Have you made one before? Any hints?

Thankfully the raspberry tart and strawberry creme fraiche ice cream were delicious!


Rosie said...

Hi Jodi,

I am a former student of yours (Basics 3, many years ago!) and a follower of your blog. A friend of mine is from the UK and so I asked her if she has any tips on summer pudding. Here is what she said:

Traditionally summer pudding usually uses just red and blackcurrants and raspberries so can't predict what will happen when you add blueberries
to the mix. When I've made it I only ever cook the fruit for less than five mins until the juices start running. The bread factor is really important, it should be stale bread and not ready sliced. I've found slices cut from a stale white loaf have worked well. When turned out I have in the past disguised any white bits by pouring more fruit liquor over them. Delia Smith is a tried and trusted source and you can find her recipes online.

Good luck!

Mmm....that's good said...

Thank you Rosie-love the tips!

Christina said...

Hi Jodi,

I too am a former student of yours, and remember seeing a Summer Pudding recipe on Becks & Posh.

I haven't tried it myself, but according to my English BF, Summer Pudding is the best. Needless to say, I'm not completely convinced, but if you do discover a great recipe for it, I'll definitely try it. Good luck!

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