Yes, late... again... but summer pudding is a wonderful English thing, reminds me of my mum, and was the most fun to make of the many things I haven't posted for you yet. Perhaps you could make a variation with Fall fruit? Maybe plums, blackberries, blueberries?
It's just cooked fruit, in a bread casing. I served it with cream, but custard is traditional. Whatever you do, the fruit combination needs to be tart, and dark purple-red. Personally I'd always avoid strawberries, too sweet and soggy. And ideally there'd be redcurrants and blackcurrants. Redcurrants we managed to find, blackcurrants were elusive - do you even have them in the US? (Other ingredients here were blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.)
Anyway, I made it for July 4th. Everyone brought fabulous desserts, as it turned out (and I'd made a backup chocolate thing too, in case the summer pudding went horribly wrong; will post that another time, promise). But even though it might be regarded as a little weird, with the bread and all, people seemed to like it.
The Recipe: Summer Pudding
From the BBC's h2g2, i.e. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Of course.
Choice of bread is key - this is one thing where you don't want your fancy artisanal stuff. Something with a close texture, firm enough to hold the pudding together, but that will also melt nicely into the fruit. I did use store-bought white, but a fairly decent one. It was almost OK but, as they said, cheap store-bought white bread turns into an "unpleasantly slimy mush," and mine was a teeny bit closer to slimy than it should have been. Though frankly I'm not sure what else I could have used.
Here it is in the bowl:
The other thing I could have handled better was the juice. I was a bit afraid that the bread wouldn't hold up, so held back on the juice.
Looks pretty, but I should have "primed" it a bit more. Likewise, they tell you to pour two-thirds of the juice into the pudding at the end, but I held back. Again, you can see the result - it should all have been red:
It all came out fine in the end though - I just poured the remaining juice over before serving, and it soaked in fine. No pictures of the whole turning out of bowl thing, it was a little stressful.
Knew there was some reason why I kept those weights! Used baked beans for the full English effect.