Sometimes the best desserts are the ones that are easiest to make!
Summertime means we get to enjoy tons of fresh fruit. We have access to so many options for fresh fruit, from our local farmer’s market to pick-your-own berry farms where we can “harvest” fresh berries by the armful. Once that fruit comes home, it needs to be either consumed or stored away for use later. We usually clean and store our fruit into freezer bags; it’s nice to have frozen fruit on hand for smoothies or to pull out in the winter months when we want a taste of warmer times. One of our favorite sweet treats to prepare with fresh fruit is a rote grütze, but in our house, we call it red berry pudding. Here’s how we do it….
Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and blackberries are tossed into a saucepan and given a good coating of sugar and a splash of water. (Fresh berries are super delicious, but if unavailable then grab a bag of frozen fruit.) We toss in a cinnamon stick for a little warmth and spice. We let this simmer on the stove for a bit; it will reduce, break down the fruit and release their natural juices. To help make that juice more syrupy, we add in a slurry of cornstarch and water. Once the compote has reached the consistency that we like – there’s no hard and set rule for the thickness of the syrup or breakdown of the fruit – it’s ready to eat. Here’s a handy tip: for more robust fruit flavor, try a fruit juice, like pomegranate, in place of water, or try a berry liqueur or red wine. And definitely don’t forget to add a splash of lemon juice, for a little brightness.
Depending on the season or personal preference, a red berry pudding may be served either warm or cold. We love it topped with fresh cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Any leftovers may be stored in a resealable container and refrigerated, but for freshness, use it within a few days. A dollop of our fruit compote on cool yogurt is really nice for breakfast the next morning, or as an afternoon snack. We can’t think of too many better ways to end a busy day than with a bowl of sweet fruit swimming in a syrupy sauce!
Red Berry Pudding
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup cherries, seeds removed
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water, divided
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add fruit, sugar, and ½ cup water to a saucepan and set heat to medium. Stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil. Drop cinnamon stick into mixture and stir to release flavor. Reduce heat and allow fruit to simmer and break down.
- Stir in vanilla extract. Whisk together cornstarch and ¼ cup water (or juice) and stir to combine with fruit mixture. If needed, add more water (or juice) if compote becomes too thick.
- Turn off heat and remove cinnamon stick. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Pudding may be served warm or cold, and topped with whipped cream or fresh sweet cream.
Recipe adapted from International Dessert Blog