Tuesday, June 12, 2012

the legendary berry pudding goodness

Last Friday we attended a potluck picnic for Justin's office and I was tasked with bringing a dessert.  When I ask what to bring to functions I cross my fingers that the response will be dessert.  It's tough for me to come up with a side salad dish but I usually don't have trouble thinking of desserts to make.  Sweet tooth much?

Berry Pudding Goodness (BPG) is a delicious perfect-for-potluck kind of dessert that my Mother-in-law created and Justin and I named way back when.  We have a long history with this dessert.  I feel like it came along for the ride during our relationship before we were married.

On my twenty first birthday, Justin and I had only known each other for about a month and I agreed to drive to Richmond, VA with him to attend his Aunt's 40th birthday (I know right? I was pretty hard pressed for this guy).  We went to the party and afterwards at his Aunt's kitchenette Justin and I sat with a big half empty bowl of BPG, spooning it into our mouths.  I was hooked; on the guy and the dessert (don't worry he took me out that night and it was the best date of my life).

BPG happens to be one of Justin's favorite desserts so his Mom passed on the recipe and I recall Justin making it a few times for dinner parties with friends. It became a bit of a cult classic among our yuppie friends. Then I took over the kitchen and the BPG making, for the most part, even while we were dating.  One drunken night after bar hopping I coined the sassy line "at least my bite has pound cake", complete with a bit of a neck roll as I sat, cross legged, completely naked, next to Justin on our futon/couch in our first apartment together, scooping out the last bits of goodness from the berry pudding bowl (one of my classier moments for sure)  BPG was good for that end of the night snack after drunken metro rides home. Ahh, good times! Justin still pulls that famous line out once in awhile to make me laugh.  All along BPG was with us at family functions, bridal showers, baby showers, summer picnics.  It's just so darn good.  The nostalgia helps too.

So BPG popped in my head last week when I was tasked to bring a dessert and it seemed like the perfect time to introduce our children to this family dish and welcome it back into the rotation for dessert.  It's a super easy dish to make in the U.S. because all the ingredients are store bought and pre-made.  I hadn't made this dish since moving overseas-I'm not sure why. Here in Ethiopia I made it for the first time from scratch (minus the Jello pudding).

Berry Pudding Goodness (Sara's homemade version)
You will need:
1 large package of instant french vanilla pudding (3 cups of milk for the pudding)
whipping cream (fresh or a big tub of cool whip if you want to be lazy)
2 lbs fresh strawberries or a combination of mixed berries if you can get them (originally this dish was made with defrosted mixed berries from the freezer section)
2 pound cakes (I made mine from scratch but you can use Sara Lee frozen ones if you like)
Cute little kids to help mix and nibble on cake

This dish should be made the day before an event. Make up the pudding using the directions on the box and let it thicken in the refrigerator.  Slice the strawberries and let them sit and get juicy in the refrigerator overnight.  Using a mixer, whip the cream and add vanilla and sugar until it tastes just right.  Whip enough cream to make about 5 cups of whipped cream.  Cut one and half pound cakes into 2 inch cubes and place in a bowl.  Fold 3-4 cups of whipping cream into the pudding and pour over the pound cake.  Add the strawberries and gently fold together until coated.  Top the bowl with the remaining whipping cream and place in the refrigerator overnight.  The pudding cream mixture softens the pound cake and the berries ooze their juices into the cake and what you have is a bowl of delicious berry pudding goodness.  Serve by the spoonful and make sure you get a taste before the crowd devours it.

The girls were pretty thrilled with this dish and it was fun to make together because all the steps are kid friendly.  They loved hearing that it was Daddy's favorite.  I have to say this version with the homemade pound cake and fresh whipped cream was really delicious.  I could have used some blueberries and blackberries in it but I can settle for fresh strawberries.  I'm not sure I'll be able to make this again with the store bought ingredients knowing it was so good with everything homemade. BPG makes memories again!


Melinda Renee said...

I particularly like the shot of Bella, with Woody on the counter, assisting in the baking adventures. *grin* Sure miss you guys!! *hug*

Rachel said...

That's a secret family recipe! My lawyers will be contacting you :)