My quest to make another U.S. President-inspired July 4 recipe started out promisingly enough when I found First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s contribution to The All American Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of Famous Persons.This book, sponsored by Floral Rebekah Lodge No. 75 in Sherman, NY, was published in 1954. Its “Famous Persons” include U.S. Senators, mayors and governors from around the U.S. (though mostly their wives contribute recipes), and, inexplicably, the president of Trefflich Wild Bird and Animal Company in New York City!
The three-ingredient Roosevelt recipe looked like a no-brainer, but alas, the directions were too cryptic. I cooked the blueberries (choosing to add the zest of 1 orange, juice from half the orange, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar), cut off the bread crusts, and layered the casserole. The result? Soggy blueberry-soaked bread. Thank goodness for ice cream to mask the mess. If anyone has suggestions for how to improve this kind of dessert, let me know. For my next act of patriotism, I’ll choose foolproof vanilla ice cream with blueberries and raspberries on top.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Blueberry Pudding (1950s)
Blueberries [I used 2 pints]
White bread [I used about 12 slices]
Cream [I recommend ice cream]
Raspberries and mint, for garnish [my additions]
Cut crusts off white bread and line a
casserole with it. Pour in cooked berries to cover bottom and place another layer of white bread on top. Place more berries and more bread continuing thus alternately until casserole is filled with berries on top. Place in the refrigerator until well chilled and serve with cream, plain or whipped.
This is a variation on the British “Summer Pudding” which is made with white bread lining a pudding basin and filled with slightly cooked (just to bring out the juices) and sweetened berries – currants (black and red), raspberries, and even strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. It is covered with more bread slices and weighed down, refrigerated for at least 24 hours for the bread to soak up the juices and then inverted to create a mound. Served with cream. I love Summer Pudding (a beautiful, but fleeting summer treat) and I love blueberries, but I’m not sure Eleanor got the idea right: soggy bread with blueberries…hmmm.
Thanks for more information about how this kind of recipe should turn out. Inverting the dish might have helped! More sugar, too. How much sugar would you use for a cup of blueberries?
Here’s a link to the classic summer pudding recipe from Delia Smith – http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/party-food/summer-fruit/summer-pudding.html
When I make summer pudding, I add some blueberries and blackberries to the standard mix of currants and raspberries. I’m not sure what it would be like just with blueberries since they aren’t as juicy as other berries. You may wish to combine them with some raspberries. It really is an exceptional summer dessert. I’d be keen to know how a revised version works for you.
Thanks, Debi, for the info. I will let you know if I come up with a successful summer pudding.