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This summer, I've been baking even more than I do at the holidays. Part of it was trying to plan ahead for work (I'm going on my honeymoon to Italy in a few weeks, but no worries, I will have left more than enough cookies and breakfast sweets to tide you all over) and part of it was an obsessive desire to capture the spirit of summer in San Francisco via produce. If you're wearing a fisherman's sweater in 54 degree fog, a bite of peach pie still tastes like sunshine. Now, in the last week of August, I'm pooped.
It's time for an easy no-bake treat, and that, friends, is where the British dessert Summer Pudding comes in. Traditionally, white bread is layered with lightly cooked or macerated berries and left overnight until it unifies into a pinky-purple block. It tastes like a jelly sandwich you packed in the morning but couldn't eat until the afternoon, and to me, that's awesome.
I was also drawn to the fact that you're not supposed to gussy this up. I could have played around with brioche or cinnamon bread or even, as a nod to the trends of the moment, doughnuts—but then this wouldn't have been Summer Pudding. For SP, it's plain old store bought square shaped white bread, crusts cut off, or nothin.
I like to layer the berries and bread into individual parfait glasses as opposed to making one big pudding so that I can eat one parfait for breakfast per day. Instead of topping my parfait with whipped cream, a little Greek yogurt brings some creamy dairy and a little protein to the party.
So goodbye, oven. I'll see you in a few. Or should I say arrivederci?
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