Since summer was coming to a close, I decided to try making a dessert that featured some of this season’s fruits: plums, nectarines and blueberries. I opted to make a summer pudding, partially because I had never made one before. I had made plenty of bread puddings, but never its distant egg-less, cream-less cousin. I found the recipe for Gingered Brioche Summer Pudding in my Gourmet’s Sweets:: Desserts for Every Occasion cookbook. The recipe is also available on-line at Epicurious.com.
Gingered Brioche Summer Pudding (page 34)
Serves 4- 6 people
- 4 firm ripe nectarines (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- 4 firm ripe plums (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger (or to taste)
- 3 cups picked-over blueberries
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- half of a 1-pound loaf brioche or challah
- Accompaniment: sour cream mascarpone (recipe follows)
In a large saucepan bring sugar, water, and ginger root to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in fruit and simmer gently, covered, carefully stirring occasionally, until blueberries just begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer fruit mixture to a shallow baking dish to cool as quickly as possible. Transfer 1 1/2 cups cooled fruit mixture to a bowl and reserve, covered and chilled.
Toast the bread until golden brown on both sides.
In an 8-inch square glass baking dish set inside a larger shallow baking dish arrange half of bread slices, overlapping slightly if necessary and trimming to fit, and top with half of unchilled fruit mixture. Layer remaining bread slices and unchilled fruit mixture in same manner. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Put another 8-inch square glass or metal baking dish on top of plastic wrap and weight pudding evenly with about 6 pounds of weight (such as cans of food). (Chill pudding at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.)
Just before serving, remove weights, baking dish, and plastic wrap from pudding, reserving juice that has spilled over into larger baking dish, and cut pudding into 6 portions. Transfer 4 portions with a spatula to plates and spoon reserved juices and chilled fruit mixture around them.
Serve pudding with sour cream mascarpone.
My husband deemed the pudding to be “a little too gingery”. I found the flavor to be good but it was not one of my favorite desserts. I am not sure if I would make this summer pudding again. Our favorite part of the dessert was the Sour Cream Marscapone. It was so easy and a perfect topping for the dessert. I will definitely keep this simple topping in my repertoire for other desserts.
Sour Cream Marscapone (from Gourmet Magazine)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mascarpone*
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, or to taste
In a bowl whisk together sour cream, mascarpone, and confectioners’ sugar. (Mixture may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.)