Mixed Fruit: Cranberry Winter Pudding

posted by SandyOH 11-20-102 6:13 AM

Cranberry Winter Pudding

Summer pudding, a traditional English dessert made with fresh summer berries, is one of the prettiest and most luscious desserts there is. This winter version, made with cranberries and a touch of apple and orange, and served with a dab of whipped cream, can make anyone forget balmy July evenings and glorious summer puddings ------ at least for a few minutes. Use a firm, dense, good-quality white bread for this pudding or the end result will be mush.

1 bag cranberries (12-ounces)
2 large tart apples, peeled and diced
1-1/2 cups sugar
Juice and rind of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
12 slices day-old firm white bread, approximately
1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped

Combine the cranberries, apples, and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Pour the orange juice into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 2 cups; pour this mixture into the pan and add the orange peel and cloves.
Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring contents to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until all the berries pop and the liquid is syrupy, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the fruit, reserving the syrup, and set aside.

Trim the crusts from the bread and cut each slice into rectangular halves. Completely line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round casserole or shallow 2-quart mold with bread, cutting bread to fit where necessary.
Reserve the remaining bread. Moisten the bread by spooning some of the reserved syrup over it. Using about one-fourth of the berry mixture, spread a thin layer of fruit over the bread, cover with a single layer of bread and again moisten the bread with some of the syrup. Repeat until all the fruit is used up and top with a final layer of bread. Spoon the remaining syrup over the bread, saturating it completely. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Place a small plate on top the pudding and cover the mold with plastic wrap. Top with a weight (canned goods are useful here) and chill overnight. Just before serving, carefully invert the pudding onto a serving plate with a lip to catch any juices. Serve with whipped cream.

8 to 10 servings

Source: John Hadamuscin's Enchanted Evenings

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