Breakfast Berry Summer Pudding

Time20 minutes, plus overnight
YieldsServes 2
Classic summer pudding
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)
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This summer pudding is made for eating in the morning, but if you want to make it into an after-dinner dessert, swap whipped cream for the yogurt and use liqueur — berry-flavored ones such as framboise or Chambord, or orange-flavored Cointreau or Grand Marnier — in place of the orange juice. Make sure to use a jam that’s the same flavor as the berries you’re using or a complementary one. Even for berries, I like to use red currant, plum or raspberry jam to add tartness to the sweet fruit. And if you happen to live near a citrus blossom tree or jasmine bush, pick a couple petals and toss them into the berry mixture to infuse it with their floral essence.


In a small saucepan, combine the berries, sugar and honey. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off a 1-inch-wide strip from the orange and add it to the pan. Juice the orange and measure out 1/2 cup; if you don’t get 1/2 cup, add water until you do. If you have an empty jam jar, pour the orange juice into the jar, screw on the lid, then shake the jar vigorously so the juice washes off all the jam stuck to the inside of the jar. Pour the jam-juice into the pan (or add 1 tablespoon of jam) along with a pinch of salt and, if you like, the candied ginger and/or a few drops of flower water, blossom petals or vanilla.


Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once simmering at the edges, continue to cook until the berries are soft and mushy, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the berries, if necessary, with a fork or whisk until you have a mostly smooth sauce; you should have about 2 cups of sauce. Let the sauce cool while you set up your dish.


Line a 3-cup mostly flat, round dish with a sheet of plastic wrap, leaving plenty of overhang. Arrange as much of the bread as necessary to cover the bottom and sides of the dish like a jigsaw puzzle, tearing and jamming in pieces to fit and cover it completely. Pour half the sauce and berries evenly over the bread, then cover the sauce completely with the rest of the bread, tearing and piecing it together to fit. Pour the remaining sauce and berries evenly over the bread.


Bring the overlapping plastic wrap up and over the top of the pudding to cover, then place a plate or other flat dish that fits just inside the rim of your dish and weigh it down with a heavy can or jar. Transfer the whole set-up to the refrigerator and let it chill overnight so the sauce fully soaks into the bread.


The next morning, unwrap the pudding and turn out onto a plate. Cut into neat wedges or scoop into it with a big spoon and place in a bowl. Top with yogurt and granola or toasted nuts before serving.