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I'm scared of summer pudding

We're having some close friends over for a belated birthday dinner this weekend and I want to bust out a great summer dessert. I've seen lots of recommendations for summer puddings on past threads and I recently watched an Ina Garten rerun with a beautiful summer pudding. It looks beautiful and very easy, but... does it taste like a jam sandwich? Have you had it? Do you like it? Would you want a second piece? Or is it just one of those desserts that people like because it's pretty and doesn't heat up your kitchen?

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  1. No, it doesn't taste like jam--it's more like a big bowl of cool, sweet, flavorful berries, with a little bit of mysterious crust that holds everything together and that no one ever figures out. I can't imagine a more refreshing dessert on a hot and/or muggy day or evening. I have had seconds and even thirds and have even been known to make one, just for me!

    1. I've got to agree with Erika. Summer puddings are cool and delicious, and they tend to impress people because they're unusual in the US, so not something many have seen before, and they're quite stunning, with their deep berry color. They're also perfect for entertaining because they are easy to put together and must be made the day before. All you need do before serving is unmold and whip some cream. I favor recipes that use thinner pieces of bread so that it's really mostly about the fruit.

      1. If you don't have a "can't fail" recipe, I like this one:

        http://www.davidlebovitz.com/recipes/...

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          That's the one I was going to go for! I absolutely adore his blog. I've been so scared of the jam sandwich factor that I've held off until now, but this seems like a good occasion to give it a go. Thanks for the encouragement!

        2. As it's part of my cultural heritage, I really think you should be looking to a Brit for advice, not a Yankee who lives in Paris. *grin*

          Here's what Nigel Slater has to say on the issue of the perfect summer pudding.

          http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/e...

          1 Reply
          1. re: greedygirl

            As a Yank living in Britain, I second the Nigel Slater recommendation. I've never made summer pudding, but I have made lots of his other dessert recipes and they've been wonderful.

          2. Discard any recipe that might call for jam. Use ripe, juicy berries. Doing that it will not taste like a jam sandwich which I agree would be awful.