"Pudding" is a common item on any British menu. On the savory side of the menu, you might find steak and kidney pudding, black pudding, and Yorkshire pudding. And on the dessert menu, you'll encounter a selection of sweet puddings (including the unfortunately named "Spotted Dick pudding"). Though most Americans associate the word pudding with thick spoonfulls of something chocolatey and custardy, the Brits use the word pudding interchangeably for dessert.
British puddings are meant to be heartwarming and comforting, an item shared and savored with family or friends; an important signifier of the end of a meal. In fact, pudding appears to be so important to native British culture, that I've never felt more like an outsider than when I've demurely turned down an after-dinner pudding at various London restaurants.
If I'm eating something heartwarming and comforting--like a pudding--I prefer it as a snack, a welcome diversion in the middle of a workday. The Nordic Bakery cookbook shares their oatbake "pudding" as their favorite pudding for a weekend brunch. This oatbake is tangy, sweet, and dense. Rolled oats contribute to the majority of its density, meaning that you can more than justify eating this pudding for breakfast or brunch. After making this pudding twice, I've found the taste to be as if I combined my bowl of oatmeal and seasonal fruit into a denser loaf form: it's more portable, but the flavors are basically identical.
Oregon's berry season lasts well into the Fall, so I anticipate baking this breakfast puddings a few more times this August and September.
Oatbake with Blueberries and RaspberriesRecipe Source: The Nordic Bakery Cookbook Serves 6
Ingredients:100 g rolled oats 300 ml hot milk 100 g butter, softened at room temperature 60 g caster sugar 50 ml honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon baking powder 120 g all purpose flour 300 g berries (blueberries and raspberries seem to work best) Tools: 1 loaf tin (I've used both rectangular and circle; both work well)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Put the oats and hot milk in a mixing bowl and set aside to allow the oats to absorb most of the milk.
- Put the butter and sugar in a separate bowl and cream with a handheld mixer (or your stand mixer) until pale and fluffy. Stir in the honey and vanilla extract. Add the egg, beating well.
- Sift the baking powder and flour together before folding into the butter mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared laof tin and sprinkle the berries evenly on top.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, unitl a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out on wire rack to cool. Enjoy!