Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Recipe: Strawberry Pudding

Doesn't it look totally scrumptious?

I watch a few shows on the Food Network. I used to watch it more, but they have turned from a channel where you really learn about food and cooking to a bunch of shows that help you get through the week with shortcuts. And they make you see a whole lot of cleavage to do it.

These days I go to the Food Network to watch two shows: Iron Chef America and Good Eats. This is a recipe I watched Alton Brown make on Good Eats.

It just looks so delectable! I love the pretty colors, and the stacking, and how it holds it's shape. And isn't everything even better with cream on top?

I'm hyping up how pretty it looks, but it really needs a recipe overhaul in my own personal opinion. It has a whole lot of potential to be a dazzling dessert that you serve to company. And this has been such a difficult winter, and this dessert brings you to warmer, cheerier weather.

There were three problems with the recipe
  • Problem #1: the wine. The recipe calls for macerating the strawberries in a mixture of sugars and wine. It never said what type of wine to use. I used a mellow Barefoot Merlot. But even the very mellow flavor of the wine completely overpowered the flavor of the strawberries. I couldn't even taste strawberries - but I did get a good buzz. In fact, I was disappointed with my first taste, but with each taste of the strawberry pudding, the recipe got better and better.
  • Problem #2: the "clotted cream" (which you can see is whipped cream in my picture). I followed the directions, which call for straining the cream through a coffee-filter lined strainer several times. It just wouldn't pass through the strainer after the first straining. So I took the liquid that was left and whipped it.
  • Problem #3: It says there were 4 servings. Impossible! I got a scant 2. The other one was only 2/3 the size.

Even though I don't consider this recipe to be a success, I'm going to post it. I think you cna macerate strawberries without wine, and that would make this recipe better. Or maybe some smart and creative reader can make it better and let us know about their results.

Strawberry Pudding
Good Eats (Food TV)

Macerated Strawberries (recipe follows)
Clotted Cream (recipe follows)
1 Tbs. butter, room temperature
16 slices of potato Bread

Macerated Strawberries:

1 pint medium size strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/2 (325 milliliters)
bottle red wine
1/8 cup orange blossom honey
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup sugar

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Let stand in refrigerator for 2 hours. Yield: 4 servings

Clotted Cream

2 cups pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream

Set a coffee filter basket, lined with a filter, in a strainer, over a bowl. Pour the cream almost to the top of the filter. Refrigerate for 2 hours. The whey will sink to the bottom passing through the filter leaving a ring of clotted cream. Scrape this down with a rubber spatula and repeat every couple of hours until the mass reaches the consistency of soft cream cheese.

To Assemble the Strawberry Pudding

Remove both ends from 4 (15-ounce) soup cans. Save 4 of the ends. Using one of the soup cans with the ends removed, cut the potato bread into 16 rounds. To avoid torn bread press straight down, do not twist. Let bread sit for 2 hours to dry out.

Butter 1 side of 4 of the bread rounds.

Place the soup cans on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the buttered bread round, buttered-side up, in each can. Spoon 2 tablespoons of strawberries with liquid to cover over each round. Dredge 1 side of 4 bread rounds in the strawberry liquid and place over the strawberries. (or place over them dry and spoon on the liquid with the new strawberries).

Repeat layering strawberries and dredged bread rounds until you have 3 layers of strawberries and 4 layers of bread.

Place reserved ends of soup cans on top of final round and weight with cans of soda. Refrigerate for 8 hours. Remove cans and serve with whipped cream.

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