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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