11 June 2008

Strawberry Story: A Prologue

I had wanted to go out to get some strawberries over the weekend and do some baking and post recipes like I promised, but the dark clouds were looming and I gave up my baking plans. Because you know I won't want to take photographs when it's cloudy, which actually is part of the ultimate goal besides having something to eat. So I'm going to leave you with a very simple way to prepare strawberries and an update of my bread pudding recipe.

It's summer in the Northern hemisphere and though Singapore sits on the equator, I still get to eat according to the seasons with the foreign imports. I'm not sure if bread pudding is summer food but I think the marinated strawberries add a fruity touch to it which is just my kind of summer. The addition of lemon zest to both the custard and the strawberries also make it more refreshing besides perfuming the dessert.

The bread pudding recipe that follows serves only 1 but it's a larger (approximately 1 3/4 times... okay... 2!) serving than what I did previously in cupcake cups. As an update to the bread pudding recipe, I think I would advise to leave the bread (I used a rustic white loaf from Carrefour which was the best white bread I've had!) to soak in the custard mixture for at least 30 minutes. I find that the 10 - 15 minutes that I stated in my previous recipe didn't adequately allow the bread to absorb the custard and the bread was still slightly on the dry side. Also an additional step to coat the ramekins with some melted butter and sugar leaves a syrup at the bottom of the bowl when baked which I think The marinated strawberries were done by eye so there's no measurements. Very simple flavours but distinctively summery with the fragrance of strawberries. Of course it's so versatile you could have it with anything! I had it spooned over some yoghurt together with my passionfruit curd and I imagine it to be just as wonderful over some crepes or even ice cream! Now that's what I call summer!

Marinated Strawberries

Strawberries, hulled and diced
Lemon juice and zest

- Throw everything into a bowl and mix briefly. Let sit for flavours to mingle or until ready to serve. You can also use only sugar or solely honey.

Bread Pudding for 1

1 tsp melted butter
1 tsp sugar
2 3/4"-thick slices of bread
200ml milk
1 egg
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
Extra melted butter (optional)

- Brush ramekins with melted butter and coat with the sugar. Skip this step if using cupcake cups.
- Cut the bread into 1" thick sticks and arrange in ramekin. Cut the bread sticks shorter if they stick out of the ramekin too much, 1/2" is okay.
- Whisk milk, egg, lemon juice and zest, sugar and honey together until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour over the bread in the ramekin. If it looks like it's going to overflow, stop and let the bread absorb the mixture for a while before adding the rest. Let sit for 30 - 40mins. Alternatively, you can just prepare it and let it sit in the fridge, forget about it for a while and come back after you've finish the things you have on hand.
- Preheat oven to 180 degC. Dot the tops of the bread with extra melted butter if desired.
- Bake the bread pudding in preheated oven for 45mins or until the custard is set and the bread is browned.
- Cool for 5 - 10 minutes and serve slightly warm with marinated strawberries and the syrup.

No comments: