Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cooking With Hilda

My mother and I love Rumpole of the Bailey, and I love looking up foods I come across in British mysteries and, if possible and desirable, making or approximating those foods.

One I particularly like is summer pudding.

Originally, it was called "hydropathic pudding" because it was served in spas and health resorts of the 19th century. It was developed as a healthier alternative to heavy puddings made with pastry. It consists of a pudding made with mixed summer fruits poured into a basin lined with bread. I say "fruits", but berries seem to have been specified: redcurrents, raspberries, blackcurrents, gooseberries and strawberries--apparently, anything with appalling quantities of seeds. In the 20th century, its popularity became more general, and the name was changed to "summer pudding" by cookbook writers. Under any name, it is delicious.

Charlie and I were invited to a cook-out at the last minute, so I made this:

  • white bread with the crusts off
  • whipped cream or "whipped topping"
  • blueberries, some reserved
  • strawberries, hulled and cut up, some reserved, one left whole
Line a loaf pan with the white bread, overlapping the slices a bit. Mish the bread flat against the bottom and sides. Layer whipped cream, blueberries, bread, whipped cream, strawberries, bread. Mish it all down firmly. The final layer of bread should be about even with the top of the bread coming up the sides of the loaf pan.

Run a knife around the sides to separate the bread from the loaf pan and turn the whole thing out. If you've mished it enough, it will retain its loaf shape.

"Frost" the loaf with whipped cream and sprinkle blueberries on top and sprinkle blueberries and strawberries around the base. Slice the single whole strawberry through to the cap several times and fan the slices slightly. Put the strawberry in the center of the loaf.

To serve, slice onto plates.

If you make this with juicy fruits, you don't need the whipped cream. But you may, of course, have it if you want it, Rumpole.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes


Gayle said...

That looks yummy, Marian! :p

anthony stemke said...

Nice looking pudding. I just wrote about an old British pudding called English Trifle that you may like.

Marian Allen said...

Oh, YUM! Imma link to your recipe on my blog tomorrow with a smack-down special MA version of trifle. lol!

Folks, here is his link. His trifle looks FABulous!!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Donis Casey said...

I had forgotten about summer pudding! It's been years since I had any, and I used to love it. Thanks for the reminder.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And I see it's all Fourth of July festive as well!