If the British are known for any particular type of food, it would have to be their puddings. Of course, in the UK, the word "pudding" functions as a stand-in for dessert and can mean anything from cake to ice cream to an actual molded pudding. This second kind of pudding, often viewed as stodgy and boring by the rest of world, has always been popular in my family. We're suckers for rich, dense Christmas Pudding covered in whisky, set aflame and served with hard sauce; for gooey, sweet Sticky Toffee Pudding; and most of all, for magenta-hued, berry-filled Summer Pudding.
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If you've never had Summer Pudding, now's the time. It couldn't be easier to make -- you just line a bowl with some white bread (stale is fine), fill it with berries and a little sugar, top off with more bread and weight it down overnight. The result is the essence of summer: the bread transforms into a sweet, fragrant sponge, and when you cut into the pudding, the berries tumble out like so many rubies and sapphires. And, like many of the best British traditions, this pudding ascribes to the "waste not, want not" philosophy -- old bread and a minimal number of additional ingredients make this a snap to shop for.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).