Little Summer Berry Puddings

Makes 4

(recipe from The Canal House Cookbook, Vol. 1)

  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 12 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup softly whipped cream

Put the raspberries in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. Shake the bowl to mix them together without crushing the berries. Set aside to macerate for half an hour.

You will need four 6-8-ounce ramekins for your pudding molds. Cut a circle out of each slice of bread, using a ramekin as a template. Pour the milk into a wide dish.

Working with one circle of bread at a time, quickly dip the bread into the milk until just moist but not soggy, then press it into one of the ramekins, lining the bottom. Cover the layer of bread with a generous layer of berries. Make another layer with the moistened bread and berries, then add a third circle of moistened bread. The ramekin should be filled to (or even swollen above) the rim. Layer the remaining 3 ramekins in the same fashion, using the remaining bread and berries. Spoon any juices over the top.

Put the filled ramekins on a small tray or baking dish, loosely cover each one with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and set a heavy dish directly on top of them as a weight to press the layers together.

Refrigerate the puddings until the bread and berries have completely melded together, about 4 hours. They’ll keep well in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

To serve, uncover the ramekins and run a small knife around the inside edges. Invert each pudding onto a dessert plate and unmold it gently. Sprinkle the puddings with some sugar and put a nice spoonful of whipped cream on top.