The only minor glitch in this whole scenario is that before I left town I forgot to take a photo of Ina's version of this summer pudding, and I really wanted to show it to you as it's clearly the most beautiful dessert in the world. And well, our version doesn't quite do it justice.
photo by Sean Moe
For one, I didn't cut the crusts off the bread as directed. I thought leaving them on might add for a more interesting texture. I was wrong. The texture was virtually the same throughout so all this really did was make it look less pretty once it was unmolded. And secondly, I didn't fully saturate the bread with all of the berry juice. Thus, those non-purple spots above there.
above two photos by Sean Moe
Two aspects really made this dish go from standard-delicious to over-the-top amazing. The first is the rum whipped cream. The second is the temperature outside versus the temperature of the pudding. We ate this refreshing, ice cold pudding on one of those hot Los Angeles afternoons that have the ability of turning our old 1920s-era apartment buildings and houses into tropical havens of hot air. For posterity, it should probably also be noted that we enjoyed it after a few plates of food that looked like this:
Oh, and the following night, the mini version didn't let us down either.
UPDATE: For the slaw component from the above taco photos, click here. For the rest of the recipe, check back. I'll post it as soon as possible!
Summer Pudding via Barefoot Contessa Family Style
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided
2 half-pints fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons framboise (raspberry brandy)
1 loaf brioche or egg bread (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
Combine the strawberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan and cook uncovered over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 half-pints of raspberries and all the blueberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a simmer. Cook for one minute. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise.
Slice the bread in 1/2-inch-thick slices and remove the crusts. In the bottom of a 7 1/2-inch round by 3-inch high souffle or baking dish, ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooked berry mixture. Arrange slices of bread in a pattern (this will become the top when it's unmolded) and then add more berry mixture to saturate. Continue adding bread, cutting it to fit the mold, and berries. Finish with bread and cooked berries, using all of the fruit and syrup.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap loosely over the pudding. Find a plate approximately the same diameter as the inside of the mold and place it on top. Weight the mold with a heavy can and refrigerate. Remove the weight after 6 to 8 hours. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, run a knife around the outside of the pudding and unmold it upside down onto a serving plate. Serve in wedges with rum whipped cream.
Rum Whipped Cream:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla, and rum. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks. Serve cold.