Summer Berry Pudding
Berry Creme Fraiche
Combine berries, water, sugar and lemon juice in heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Strain berry mixture, reserving juices. Reserve 1/3 cup berry mixture to make berry crème fraiche.
Line twelve 5-ounce ramekins with plastic wrap, so it hangs over the sides. Using a 2 ½- inch round cookie cutter, cut out 24 rounds from bread slices. Trim crusts from 16 remaining bread slices and cut each slice into 4 equal squares.
To build a pudding, dip 1 round slice into fruit juices and place in bottom of ramekin. Dip 5 bread squares, one at a time, into juices and place around sides of ramekin. Spoon about ½ cup berries into ramekin. Dip 1 more bread round into juices, place on top of the berries and wrap with the plastic wrap hanging over the sides of the ramekin. Repeat assembling the puddings with remaining bread rounds and squares, juices and berries, assembling.
Place the puddings on a baking sheet. Top with another baking sheet. Place a heavy object on baking sheet (this extracts more juices and pectins to set the puddings). Chill overnight.
To serve, unwrap puddings. Turn out onto plates and remove plastic wrap. Serve with Berry Crème Fraiche.
For crème fraîche, stir together cream and buttermilk, place in a plastic cup or bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Immerse cup or bowl in hot water, up to the level of the cream and store in a warm place (near oven, radiator) for 24 to 48 hours. You will know when it’s ready because you will see the thin-textured whey settled at the bottom. Chill before using, being sure not stir whey (the liquid that settles at the bottom) into crème fraîche (it will thin it out).
Mash reserved 1/3 cup berry mixture from puddings and fold into crème fraiche. Serve with Summer Berry Puddings. (Makes about 1 cup berry crème fraîche.)