Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 23, 2021
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English summer pudding

The English really know what to do with their berries, and this dessert is about as English as it gets. Feel free to change the proportions or types of berries, especially if you have a blackberry patch out back or some fresh currants on hand — just keep the total at about 6 cups (1.5 L).

4 c. (1 L) ripe blueberries

¼ c. (60 ml) plus 2 tbsp. (30 ml) sugar

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract

1 c. (250 ml) ripe raspberries

1 c. (250 ml) sliced ripe strawberries

6 tbsp. (90 ml) unsalted butter, or as needed, at room temperature

10 to 12 slices firm-textured, homemade-style white bread, crusts removed

whipped cream (optional)

mixed ripe berries for serving (optional)

Combine the blueberries with ¼ cup (60 ml) of the sugar in a large saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the berries begin to release their liquid. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and boil gently, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Stir together the raspberries, strawberries and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar in a bowl. Crush the berries a bit with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.

Line a 6-cup (1.5 L) bowl with 3 sheets of plastic wrap, leaving a 6-inch (15-cm) overhang around the edges. Generously butter the bread. Line the bottom and sides of the bowl with bread, buttered side up, cutting the slices to fit. Spoon the raspberry mixture into the bowl and smooth the top. Cover with a layer of bread, buttered side up, again cutting the slices to fit. Add the blueberry mixture and cover with yet another layer of bread, buttered side down, cutting to fit.

Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the pudding. Top with a plate slightly smaller than the bowl and weight it with about 3 pounds (1.5 kg) of cans or bags of food. Refrigerate for at least 10 hours, up to 48 hours.

To serve, fold back the plastic wrap, invert the pudding onto a deep serving platter and remove the bowl and plastic wrap. Serve with whipped cream and garnish with berries, if desired. Serves 8.

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