I’ve been pretty good at holding my best intentions this year, well, until just now. Curious? Purchasing food magazines is only allowed when traveling (with one tiny exception) and buying new cookbooks has, these days, become more an exception than the rule. My cookbook library has grown exponentially over the last years and shelf space is a limited good in my office.
But as soon as I came across Faith Durand’s new cookbook, I hit the order button. Having been an avid fan of her posts and recipes over at the Kitchn for many years, her latest book had me at “Sweets” - my personal weakness. “Bakeless Sweets”, so the complete title, covers everything from pudding, budino, jelly to panna cotta, icebox cake, mousse and so much more – both classics and modern recipes alike. Perfect for those hot summer months, when heating the oven is not an option.
The first recipe I just couldn’t take my eyes off (which shows the importance of brilliant food photography… at least for me!) was the Scarlet Rose and Berry Pudding. My very first dairy-free pudding and I was somewhat hesitant, not sure what to expect and if a fruit puree pudding’s texture would float my boat. But all my worries were swept away with the first spoon! Eaten straight from the fridge it is a worthy summer variation to the classic chocolate and vanilla pudding, it’s natural red color couldn’t possibly be any deeper, putting artificial food coloring to shame. Next on my list are the chocolate-coconut mousse and – once the rain is back – Faith’s salted caramel risotto!
The only change I made to Faith’s Scarlet Rose and Berry Pudding recipe below: I added some shaved white chocolate and would highly recommend giving it a try – it works perfect with the slightly tart pudding.
Make a cornstarch and egg slurry: Put the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl and whisk out any lumps. Slowly pour in 1 cup (240 ml) water, whisking constantly. Whisk in the egg yolks.(To be really sure, reach into the bowl and gently rub out any lumps between your fingers.)
Blend and warm the berries: Puree the strawberries and raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth and liquefied. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a 3-quart (2.8-L) saucepan. Turn the heat onto high and bring the fruit mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat.
Temper the slurry: Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of the hot fruit into the bowl with the slurry. Whisk them together. Pour the tempered slurry slowly back into the pan, counting to 10 as you do and whisking vigorously.
Thicken the pudding: Turn the heat back on to medium. Bring the pudding to a full boil, whisking frequently; this will take 2 to 5 minutes. Large bubbles will rise up very slowly, making a noise like gloop or plop.
Simmer for 2 minutes, whisking frequently. Turn off the heat and whisk in the rosewater.
Chill the pudding: Immediately pour the hot pudding into a shallow container. (If you notice lumps, you can pour the pudding though a fine-mesh sieve to make it smoother.) Place plastic wrap or buttered wax paper directly on the surface of the pudding to cover it. Put a lid on the dish and refrigerate. Chill for 2 hours , or until completely cold, before eating. Best eaten within 3 days.
Serve in dessert cups with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Scarlet Rose and Berry Pudding
Recipe source: Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand, page 55
Active time: ~30 minutes, plus chilling, at least 2 hours
Ingredients (makes 4 cups/960 ml or eight servings):
1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
10 ounces (280 g) strawberries or mixed berries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
10 ounces (280 g) raspbberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
6 tbsp (75 g) sugar
1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tbsp/45 ml juice)
1 tsp food-grade rosewater
whipped cream, to serve