Month of June: “My Berlin Kitchen” Recipe: Rote Grutze with Vanilla Sauce

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” Louisa May Alcott

Not much to say here as I am overflowing with gorgeous berry joy, something that takes over me every summer during upstate New York’s fruit season. This pudding is as beautiful to look at as it is easy to devour! The sweet sour deliciousness of the currants, sour cherries and raspberries captures the long awaited sun ripened berry in a fancy looking but so simple to make dessert. I used currants from my garden mixed in with a few black raspberries for good measure.

Ingredients: For the pudding; 1/4 cup cornstarch, 2 cups of cherry juice with no sugar added, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups raspberries, 2 cups sour cherries pitted, 2 cups red currents destemmed. For the vanilla sauce: 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 vanilla bean split (I used 1 teaspoon extract), up to 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Pudding or Rote Grutze

  1. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup of water to make a lump free slurry. Set aside.
  2. Pour juice into a 4 qt saucepan and add the sugar. Set over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolved. Add the fruit to the pot and bring to just a boil.
  3. Give the slurry another whisk and pour into the pot just as the fruit starts to bubble. It will thicken almost immediately. Bring back to a boil and then remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the hot pudding into a large serving bowl or into individual dishes and let cool completely before refrigerating overnight. Serve with a jug of vanilla sauce for pouring over. See below.

Vanilla Sauce

  1. Prepare an ice bath.
  2. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk the 2 tablespoons of milk until no lumps remain. Set aside.
  3. Pour the 2 cups of milk into a 2 quart saucepan, add sugar and vanilla. Set over medium heat and whisking, bring to a boil.
  4. As soon as milk boils, whisk in the cornstarch slurry very slowly. The sauce will start to thicken immediately. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat.
  5. Put the pot in the ice bath and continue to whisk until the sauce is cooled. You can add a little cream if you want it thinner. My sauce came out thin so I didn’t need to add any more cream.
  6. Serve the vanilla sauce at room temperature with the pudding or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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