I had quite the 4th of July weekend. It began with a long road trip from Austin to Arkansas. I drove the entire span of Arkansas and I marveled at how different it is depending on where you are in the state. It was purty country.
The weekend can best be described as Foodapalooza. There have been so many divine dishes that I’m going to share with you over the coming days. This was one of them, and it involves dewberries.
Dewberries are related to blackberries. They are small and grow in brambles, are sometimes considered a weed, but they are a purplish-black, sweet, and the leaves can be turned into tea.
The berries are a bit tender which makes them great for something like pudding, because they melt into the rest of the dessert in a beautiful, tart, purple way.
My friends here in Arkansas noticed one year that there was a bumper crop of dewberries and took advantage and got a group together to pick all that they could. Men picked buckets and buckets of them. We discovered them over the weekend and pulled them from the freezer and made something special out of them this Fourth.
These are some of the things you will need: eggs, butter, vanilla, berries, sugar, cream, milk, cinnamon (not shown because I’m a bad photographer) and a sweet bread of sorts. A pinch of salt is good too.
You begin by greasing a baking dish. 13 x 9 or something in that ballpark will do.
Tear up the bread by hand and put it in the baking dish. It’s okay if it is overflowing, because you’re going to pack it in there. A sweet flavored bread is ideal here… like a Hawaiian bread or Challah.
Alternate with the berries as you put the bread in so that it is evenly incorporated.
Pour the sugar in a bowl.
Add the cream and milk.
Add the eggs…
Add the vanilla…
Add the cinnamon and salt…
And mix it all together!
Then do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.
Pour the mixture over the bread and berries, making sure to evenly distribute it. Then press it down with a spatula to help the bread soak up all of the liquid.
You’re going to bake it at 350 degrees F for about 75 minutes and when it emerges it will look like this.
The berries will be melted into the bread and the whole thing will be moist and custardy below the surface. You’ll set that aside while you make…
This is only 3 simple ingredients: dewberries, sugar, and brandy.
You could add whiskey instead if you’re feeling frisky.
Add the berries to a pot, then dump in the sugar.
Give it a nice stir over the heat, and it will start to release its juices.
Once it has a nice jammy consistency, stir in the brandy.
It will look something like this when it is done… saucy jam, with an edge.
Give it a nice drizzle over a spoonful of bread pudding…
And take a bite! I even added a scoop of berry ice cream for good measure.
Give this a try sometime! It will work with any summer fruit, or even with raisins in the winter. The bread pudding isn’t too sweet, so that you can add the sweeter sauce as you please, depending on your tastes.