and no matter how many episodes of The Great British Bake-Off you’ve watched, you’re probably still not sure what the Brits mean when they call something pudding. To make it even more confusing, we added a layer of creamy farmers cheese, pushing this close to trifle territory. But we’re staying away from the rabbit hole of trans-Atlantic dessert nomenclature and sticking with something that seems straightforward, at least to us.
The summer part refers to the abundance of fresh berries this time of year. Here in the Pacific Northwest we’re lucky to have so many, but if you don’t have access to fresh fruit, frozen berries will work fine. For the bread, we like to use Sally Lunn from Portland’s Little T Bakery, a soft, brioche-like loaf with a fine, buttery crumb. Any soft, fine-textured loaf will work.
For the shopping list
blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a combination
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
plain, Greek-style yogurt
brioche, challa, or other soft, fine-grained bread*
*while most summer pudding recipes call for removing the crust, we like to leave it on
In a small saucepan, combine 2-3 cups of berries, juice and zest from 1 lemon, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of wine. Heat gently just until the berries start to give up some juice, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly.
Mix 1/2 cup of cheese, 1/4 cup of cream, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of honey together. Set aside.
Use a bowl with a diameter of about 6-8 inches to assemble the pudding. Cut a piece of parchment to line it, cutting slits if needed to fit the paper to the bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil into the bowl, then push the parchment into so it fits snugly.
Fit a piece of bread into the bottom of the bowl, trimming it if needed (save the pieces to fill any gaps). Brush one side with olive oil and press the oiled side into the bowl. Repeat the process with the rest of the bread until the sides of the bowl are lined with bread.
Spoon about half the berry mixture into the bowl. Cut another slice of bread to fit over the berries, spread the cheese mixture on it, and place it, cheese side up, on top of the berries. Cut pieces of bread to fit around the slice until the berries are completely covered, then spoon any remaining cheese mix over the top.
Add the rest of the berries until the bowl is nearly filled, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. (if you have more than you need to fill the bowl, use them for topping ice cream or pancakes). Cover the berries with more bread, and spoon any remaining juice from the berries over it. Fold the parchment over the bowl (or cut a new piece to cover), place a plate on top, and refrigerate overnight.
To unmold, remove the plate and parchment from the top of the bowl. Place a clean plate over the bowl and quickly turn it over. If the bowl doesn’t easily slip off, let it sit for a few minutes. After removing the bowl, take off the parchment paper. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
We love adding rhubarb to our favorite whole wheat olive oil cake, but if it's not available, you can use something else, serve it with a spoonful of jam, or just eat it plain and you'll still be very happy.