This time of year, take advantage of all the fresh summer fruits available in the supermarkets, gourmet food stores and farmers markets. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed with fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Buy your berries now when they are good value and plentiful. Freeze what you don't use to make delicious desserts later. One of the healthiest foods you can eat are blueberries.
Mary Elizabeth Evans teaches cooking classes through her company, Teascompany. http://www.teascompany.net. Questions or comments? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter:teascompanynet
When I lived in England, I have fond memories of picking berries and making it. It is very simple to prepare. However, this pudding must be made a day before serving. This allows time for the bread to soak up all the delicious berry juices. You will need a soufflé dish, a baking dish with tall sides or a round mixing bowl medium size. To serve, if using a soufflé dish or mixing bowl, invert the pudding on to a plate or cut into squares if using a baking dish. If you are using a baking dish, reserve some of the berry juices for later use.
6 cups raspberries
6 cups blackberries
6 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons kirsch (optional)
1 firm textured sliced white loaf of bread (one pound)
Using a non-reactive pan, heat the berries and sugar together.
Cook until the berries break down and their juices are released.
Remove from heat and stir in kirsch, if using.
Remove the crusts from the bread.
Line a 1-1/2 quart soufflé dish or medium bowl, or baking dish with plastic wrap.
Line the sides and bottom with bread.
Do not leave any gaps.
Trim the slices to fit snugly, as necessary.
Now, pour half of the berries into the prepared bread-lined dish, covering the whole bottom layer of bread.
Make another layer of bread over the berries, and again trim as necessary to make a single layer one slice thick.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top, cover with a plate with a slight smaller diameter than the dish you are using. Place a fairly heavy object (I use a large can of tomatoes) on top of plate. This will weight down the pudding.
If you use a baking dish, then add a little more berry juice on top before covering, since you will not be inverting the pudding and this means you will need a little more juice for soaking.
Refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove weight, plate and top layer of plastic wrap. Invert the pudding on to an attractive serving plate and lift the dish or bowl off.
Remove the plastic.
Cut the pudding into serving slices.
Serve with whipped cream.