Mike and I spent another 4th of July in Long Beach, escaping the Covid craziness and just enjoying ourselves at the beach with the dogs. We even skipped collecting wood on the beach and didn’t make the usual big beach fire and instead watched the fireworks in our cozy cabin, taking life easy, which was a very welcome change.
As you can see, nobody around us and finally no “mask duty” – wow free breathing who would have known that this would be something to be excited about.
This is Murphy when he “turns on his afterburner” running after the frisbee in lighting speed. We also had another great dinner at our newfound favorite restaurant (My Covio) in Ocean Park run by a chef from Amsterdam and also checked out the Saturday market in Ilwaco. When we came back from Long Beach it was time to pick berries again in our garden. I currently have “Berry Galore” in my backyard and are picking strawberries, raspberries, cherries and red currant almost every day and was reminded of a German berry dessert that I haven’ t made in a long time and thought with that many berries on hand I give it a shot and it came out fantastic – a pure berry explosion dessert. If you are into berries then this is your dessert and you have to give it a try. Its not hard to make, only prepping the fruit takes a little bit of time, especially when you first have to pick them :-). Rote Gruetze is a typical fruit dessert from northern Germany, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. You can make it with any red berries, I usually use equal parts of cherries, raspberries, red currant (I sometimes can find them on farmers markets), blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. “Rote” means red and “Gruetze” means Grit, so pretty much “Red Grit” and the “grit” part comes from the sago or semolina that originally was used for thickening which made the pudding a little bit gritty, hence Gruetze or grits. Nowadays though people use corn or potato starch for thickening which makes for a smoother compote.
Berry Pudding – Rote Gruetze (makes 6 portions).
- 2 pounds of mixed berries such as raspberries, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, red currant, blackberries.
- 1,5 – 2 cups of juice (strawberry, cherry, cranberry)
- 150 gram sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons of cornstartch
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 80 gram of powdered sugar
For the Rote Gruetze/Berry Pudding:
- Clean all the berries and the ones that are bigger like strawberries and cherries cut into halfs or quarters.
- Mix the corn starch with 3-4 tablespoons of the corn starch and set aside. Bring the rest of the juice to a boil. Once the juice is boiling, mix in the cornstarch mixture and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then add the berries and let the berries boil in the liquid for a minute. The longer you boil the fruit the more saucy it gets. I only boil it for a minute, so that I have lots of intact fruit left. But either way is fine, you see all kind of different consistencies for the Rote Gruetze, what matters is how you like it.
- Let the Rote Gruetze cool out and remove the vanilla bean.
For the Vanilla sauce:
- Pour milk and cream into a heavy bottom pot. Cut the Vanilla bean and half and scape out the black vanilla speckles into the milk and then heat up the cream and milk with the vanilla bean and include the black speckles.
- Beath the egg yolks with the sugar to a cream.
- Slowly whisk in the hot milk to the egg/sugar cream.
- Pour the milk/egg mixture back into the pot and warm it up until it thickens. Do NOT Let this mixture boil, it will curdle.
- Pour the vanilla sauce through a strainer and its ready to be used for the Rote Gruetze.
Serving the Rote Gruetze:
You can serve the berry pudding with Vanilla sauce, or ice cream or just whipped cream. Its very versatile – you can also mix it into plain yoghurt, top off vanilla pudding, waffles or pancakes. Filling crepes with a couple table spoons of Rote Gruetze would also be a good option.