Autumn Cranberry Pudding
This is a version of an English summer pudding using the cranberries that typically appear in October. If you still can get local fresh cranberries at Thanksgiving, consider this in place of the traditional cranberry sauce.
Serves: 6 to 8
1 pound fresh cranberries
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
10 slices bread from a square loaf, crusts removed
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine the cranberries, apple, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon stick and cranberry juice cocktail in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a lemon zester or hand grater, add the zest from the lemon to the cranberry mixture. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Mix well and pick out cinnamon stick. Set aside.
Line a 1-1/2-quart bowl with plastic film. The film should hang 1 or 2 inches over the lip of the bowl. Line the bottom of the bowl with slices of the bread, cutting and trimming to fully cover the bottom of the bowl. Pour in the cranberry mixture. Cut and arrange the remaining bread to cover the top of the bowl. Place a sheet of film over everything and put a plate on top of the pudding that is smaller than the diameter of the bowl. Set bowl in a pan to collect over flow juice and place at least a 3-pound weight on top of plate. Chill the pudding for at least 12 hours.
Place very cold cream in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat with a hand mixer, starting at medium speed and slowly increasing speed as cream thickens. Blend until very stiff. Keep cold in refrigerator.
Remove weight, plate and film from top of bowl. Turn bowl over on to a serving platter and unmold. Remove wrap. Serve in wedges with whipped cream.
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