Monthly Archives: August 2013

Summer pudding with Norwegian berries

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British puddings mystify Norwegians. We might read about them in British novels, but have never seen or even less tasted the mysterious dishes. Apple duff, Yorkshire pudding, spotted dick, Christmas pudding, they are all unknown and seem exotic. My English husband is regularly asked by my relatives about the difference between Yorkshire pudding and Christmas pudding. At Christmas my English husband thus impressed everyone by making toad in the hole (sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding) and then bread and butter pudding. This time, his Great British pudding tour continued with a summer pudding (also novel and exciting). It is a really lovely summer dessert. Here is what he did.

Step one: make sure nobody eats the ingredients. White bread, bought the day before to be slightly stale, and blueberries we had picked in the woods. Watching football while cooking is optional. He used the BBC Good Food Summer pudding recipe as a guideline, adapted to what we had. You would need something like this: 1-1.5 kilos mixed berries and fruit of your choice, 100 g sugar, 7-10 slices day-old white bread.

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Step two: line a shallow bowl with plastic cling film, so it is easier to turn the pudding out later.

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Step three: line the bowl with white bread, with the crusts cut off. Slightly stale works better.

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As you can see, the bread should be trimmed so it all fits tightly together.
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Step four: In a medium pot, add your assorted berries with a little sugar, depending how sweet your berries are. 100g was plenty for us. Strawberries and rapberries would often be used. We used fresh blueberries, white currants, fresh raspberries, and a couple finely chopped apples to bulk it up a bit. You can use frozen berries too. You need enough to fill the bread-lined bowl. Cook the berries and fruit for a few minutes until the juices start releasing.

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Step five: ladle over the berries and fruit mixture, into the bread-lined bowl.

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Step six: keep filling it up with cooked berries and fruit until it is almost full. Leave a little free space on top. You will see the juices seeping through to colour the bread already. We had a couple cups worth of extra cooked berries and juice that we saved and served with the summer pudding later.
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Step seven: cover the top of the bowl with a layer of trimmed white bread. Again, make sure it is fitted together well. Cover with plastic cling film. Now, put the bowl on a plate (it might leak) and put this carefully in the fridge, with a small plate on top of the bowl and something heavy on top. A couple milk cartons will do. Leave in fridge for 4-6 hours.

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Step eight: you have had a lovely dinner in the garden, and it is time for dessert. Or time for pudding, as the English would say. Take the bowl out of the fridge, and peel off the plastic cling film from the top. Now, invert it carefully onto a serving dish. Lift off the bowl, and remove the remaining cling film. You could decorate it with some extra berries if you remember.

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Step nine: watch as the 12 people at dinner are impressed, taste summer pudding for the first time and proceed to wolf it down. This was served with vaniljesaus, a cold vanilla custard sauce, but it is delicious just as it is. Quite filling as well.

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Now, what pudding will he impress them with the next time we come to Norway?

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A sunny summer day in eastern Norway

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A lovely summer day, on holidays in eastern Norway.

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The neighbour has an apple orchard. The deer grazed on the young trees through the winter, but these survived.

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It is so quiet compared to Rome, and there is so much space! This is not the gorgeous fjord country, which is on the west coast. This is an area of farms and woods, very pretty in its own way. It is lovely to have some days here visiting relatives.

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Wildflowers along the path. Walk up the hill, and there are woods with wild blueberries and wild raspberries.

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A field of oats, not quite ready for harvesting. Though we have only been here a few days, my city-bred husband has heard everyone mentioning “tresking”, combine harvesting. It is sunny dry weather, but most of the grain is not quite ripe. Wait too long, and September rain makes it difficult for machinery and grain humidity. Farms are smaller here, but finding the right time can still be a challenge. So people keep an eye out, and it keeps coming up in conversation over endless coffee cups. “Oh look, they have started to treske over there.” “Oh, I hear a combine harvester.” Riveting stuff, if you are not from an agricultural background…..

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Lots of bird boxes, and I can hear birds all over in the trees and bushes.

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Summer!

the versatile blogger award

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Many thanks to the delightful http://andmorefood.wordpress.com for nominating me for this award! I am honoured, and highly recommend a visit to her blog for gorgeous photography, interesting writing and lovely food.

This award asks winners to reveal seven things about themselves, so here are mine:

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1) I am currently on holidays in Norway, which is wonderful.
2) I picked a half bucket of blueberries in the woods today.
3) Clothes shopping I will happily pass on, but a chance to browse an interesting kitchenware store? Never!
4) Currently reading “Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking” by Kate Colquhoun
5) .. but I am still confused about why the English call desserts “pudding”.
6) Scary movies give me nightmares.
7) After a couple days away from Rome I am really craving a decent cappuccino.

The Versatile Blogger award is given to those bloggers who are able to adapt and roll with changes and topics on their blogs. I am please to nominate these bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Bris Vegas Vego
Bread, Cakes and Ale
Greedy Wanderers
The Mountain Kitchen
nonsupermarket
Dish ‘n’ the kitchen

To pass it on, thank the blogger who nominated you, note seven things about yourself you’d like to share, and nominate other bloggers!

These blogs are all well worth exploring. So many talented people sharing their talents!
Thanks again for the nomination!

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Norwegian garden. It is so green here!

Update November 2013: My goodness, another Versatile Blogger award! How nice! This time from the Transplanted Cook, an American in the UK. Many thanks again.