Red Summer Fruit Pudding
Despite all the moaning and groaning we do here about Chicago’s unpredictable climate, I can actually say that summer seems to have come about right on cue. With the official start to summer on Saturday, the temperatures have actually been warm, the pools have actually been open, and life around here feels…well, normal for a change.
So aside from Easy Fruit Popsicles, there’s something else I’ve been looking forward to: Summer Fruit Pudding. A mixture of fresh berries turned into a delicious bread pudding, I could almost melt (along with the popsicles!) just thinking about it. After seeing this, there is no way I’d choose citrus over berries. But I betcha you wanna see the recipe, huh?
This no-bake summer pudding not only looks stunning but it also tastes delightful!
1 lg. loaf white bread, thickly sliced with crusts removed
3 1/2 lb. washed summer fruit (strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, and best of red currants)
1 C. sugar
lemon zest (unwaxed)
Prepare fruit by removing any bad berries, etc. Remove crusts from bread. Butter the inside of a 3-pt. pudding basin then line the basin with the bread slices – do not leave any gaps (overlap if necessary.) Press the edges together so the bread forms a complete mold inside the bowl. Reserve about 1/2 lb. raspberries for decoration at end.
Place remaining berries with sugar and lemon zest into saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the fruits are releasing their juices – takes about 5 minutes – don’t overcook as you want the fruits to keep their shapes. Reserve about 3/4 C. of the juice, then cool and refrigerate. Pour the remainder of the fruit into the pudding basin – seal the top completely with slices of bread. Cover the bread with a flat plate/saucer that fits snugly inside the basin, then weigh down the plate with a 3-lb. weight (very heavy can or jar will do.)
Leave in fridge overnight, the weight will cause the juice to bleed through the bread, staining it red. Gently slide a flexible spatula between the bread and the basin to loosen. Invert the bowl onto a serving dish – it should slide easily into place.
Add a few drops of red coloring to the 3/4 C. set aside fruit juice, and use this to gently coat any areas that still have a white tinge – pour remainder of juice over entire pudding. Put the reserved rasperberries all around the bottom of the pudding. Serve with real whipped cream and a sprig of mint or vanilla ice cream (optional.)