The photo of a Very Berry Summer Pudding recipe in Southern Living magazine caught my eye. Squishy stacks of juicy fresh berries – how is this pudding? I grew up with Jell-o as my definition of “pudding,” followed by a few scratch successes like this Butterscotch Pudding. Time to try berry pudding, a gorgeous Southern treat!
But… but… I made adjustments to the Southern Living recipe. Passionate cooks tend to do that, no sin in it. So, first because the original recipe was too big for our four-person dinner party, I halved the volume. Also, fresh cherries weren’t here yet. And being lazy, I didn’t want to make a stop at another store for ladyfingers (common ingredient, sort of, but still not always at Ralphs).
My assumption is that the ladyfingers here do what they do in traditional tiramisu — soak up liquid and create layers. So, Nilla Wafers ought to do the same thing, right? Not knowing how the original played out, this was probably closer to Jell-o pudding than the Southern Living version because the cookies were little juice sponges. No matter, it was DELISH!
I used a one-quart soufflé dish. It takes some time to squish down – mine was given 24 hours in the fridge with a bowl and can of beans putting pressure on it. Squish, squish, squish. Yum, yum, yum.
Make-Ahead Very Berry Summer Pudding ~ adapted from Southern Living
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons Triple Sec
- About 40 Nilla Wafers
Wash berries, pat dry. Hull strawberries and slice in half.
Place all berries in a large heavy saucepan along with the sugar. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the water, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 or 6 minutes just until the berries begin to break down and get juicy. Remove from heat, stir in Triple Sec and cool 20 minutes.
Line a 1 qt. soufflé dish with plastic wrap. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/3 of the berries into the prepared dish, then add a layer of Nilla Wafers to be two cookies thick. Add next 1/3 of berries and another layer of cookies. Finish with final third of berries. Drizzle 2 tablespoons more of the fruit juice over the pudding.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap, top with a plate or bowl that fits into the dish enough to gently compress the fruit, and place a 14 oz. can on top. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove top piece of saran, invert pudding onto a plate and remove remaining plastic wrap. Decorate with fresh berries. Serve chilled (it will start to ooze the juice onto the plate a bit).
Serves 4 to 6.