Sir John and the Knights of the Long Table

Eleven of us live here at beautiful Schamelot, and we have a small 20 acre farm of chickens, emus, two dogs, 13 or so cats and a cockateil named Sassafrass.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Recipe of the Week

We spent yesterday in Alexandria with friends from St. Mary's. Karen is an awesome entertainer and introduced me to the simple elegance of the Barefoot Contessa. For dessert Karen made Contessa's Summer Pudding, which I've never tried because there's not a picture in the cookbook. It was incredibly delicious! I'm sure it would be O.K. to substitute the framboise with water or wine, and the rum could be left out altogether if you prefer. The best part about this recipe is that you don't have to bake it--so even Ruth, whose oven is STILL broken, could make it!

Summer Pudding With Rum Whipped Cream

Serves 8

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:

Serves 8

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.

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