Emma Bakes… Winter Berry Pudding
You know, there’s always a shit load of stuff to be doing over Christmas – put up the tree, wrap presents, cover everything you own in tinsel and glitter, attend office parties and house parties and nights out on the town, you popular sod! All of this means that sometimes, you just can’t be bothered to bake that impressive dessert you promised to contribute to whatever gathering you’re attending.
Maybe you’re too hungover from your partying. Maybe you just want to sit by the fire, kick your feet up and watch whatever crappy Christmas special is on TV. Maybe your hands are cramping from all the intricate origami-like wrapping work you’ve been doing on the MILLION bloody gifts you went and bought everyone you know. Whatever. You’ve still got something delicious to deliver so you’d best pull your woolly socks up and get on with it, sunshine!
Here, my friends, is the recipe for something that requires the tiniest amount of effort but tastes super-fantastic and oh-so festive. My dad makes the summer version with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries all the time and it always turns out great (and if he can make it, anyone can! Seriously, he’s a terrible cook but don’t ever tell him I said that. K?). I’ve ‘wintered’ this up by changing the fruit and adding in some mulled wine type spices. Sooooo good!
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
- 250g Fresh Cranberries
- 1x 425g Tin Black Cherries in Syrup, pitted and chopped in half
- 500g Frozen Mixed Berries
- 1 Orange, zest and juice
- 1 Cup Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Ground All Spice
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Star Anises
- 5 Small Brioche Rolls
- 1 x 2 Pint/ 1.14L Pudding Bowl
- Vanilla Ice Cream
Dump all your fruits, sugar, spices and the orange juice and zest into a large pan. Cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the cranberries have broken down and everything is soft.
While the berries are cooking, slice the brioche rolls lengthways. You should get about 5 slices per roll.
Put some of the nicer looking slices of brioche standing up around the side of the bowl. Overlap each slice a little to make a sort of wall. You should have enough left over for the bottom and top of the pudding.
Line the bottom of the pudding bowl with some of the left over brioche.
Once your berries are cooked, using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to the centre of the pudding bowl.
Note: You will use all the fruit but there should be some juices left in the pan which you’ll need to keep. If it’s looking like there might be too much fruit and it’s going to overflow, press the fruit down into the bowl gently, using the back of the slotted spoon.
Place the remaining brioche on top of the fruit. At this stage the fruit should be encased on all sides.
Place some saucers on the top of the pudding bowl to compress everything. You want some of the fruit juice to soak through the brioche. Set aside to cool for at least an hour.
If you want to, you can sieve the remaining juices that were left in the pan to make a smooth sauce. If you’re not arsed about the seeds, don’t bother. Just pour it all into a jug. Whatever you like.
Once the pudding has cooled a bit, turn it out onto a plate and cover it in the sauce. Now, feel free to slice it up, stick a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it, and shove it in your face. Merry Christmas to you!
Note: If you’re super busy and in full on party mode, you can make this a couple of days in advance. Just cover the pudding bowl and the jug of sauce in plastic and stick ‘em in the fridge ‘til you need ‘em. Just before serving, turn out the pudding and cover in sauce. Heat it up a little in the microwave if you prefer it warm.