Not long ago I was lucky enough to eat, courtesy of the Guild of Food Writers, at Jeremy Lee’s Quo Vadis in London’s Soho. It’s a place with a colourful past, having been both a brothel and home to Karl Marx, though not, I think, at the same time.
The food is delicious, seasonal and British. For dessert we were served buttermilk pudding and it makes such a light and delicate end to a meal that I wanted to try my hand at it at home.
This is not Jeremy’s recipe, although I hope it’s not far off the mark. At Quo Vadis the pudding was topped with a lemon curd and summer berries. You can use any fruit you like; I used fresh raspberries and a raspberry coulis because that’s what I had handy.
The buttermilk puddings take a while to set but apart from that they are absurdly quick and easy. You can pour the mixture into ramekins and turn them out like panna cotta, but I like to serve them in glass bowls with the purée and fruit on top, so you can see the layers. It also removes the possibility of any last-minute panic if they are reluctant to turn out. I’m all for an easy life.
Please note this recipe uses gelatine. I haven’t tested vegetarian equivalents.
Buttermilk Pudding with Raspberries
100ml double cream
60g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod or 1 heaped tspn vanilla bean paste
3 leaves of gelatine
1 tbsp lemon juice
350g fresh raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar
Raspberry leaves, to garnish (optional)
To make the coulis, put 200g of the raspberries in a pan with the icing sugar and heat until the raspberries start to collapse and give off their juice. Blend briefly with a stick blender then push through a fine sieve. Cool, cover and place in the fridge. (Any leftovers are lovely spooned over ice cream or rippled through a fruit fool.)
Cover the gelatine with cold water and leave to soak for five minutes.
Put the cream and sugar in a saucepan. If you are using a vanilla pod, split it, scrape the seeds into the pan and add the pod. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has melted.
Remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatin and add it, with the lemon juice, to the cream mixture. Whisk gently until the gelatin has dissolved. If you’ve used a vanilla pod, strain the mixture into a clean bowl at this point. If you are using vanilla bean paste, simply stir it in.
Measure the buttermilk into another bowl and slowly stir in the cream mixture. Pour the mixture into small bowls – glass looks prettiest – and chill in the fridge for at least three hours or overnight.
When the buttermilk puddings have set, top with raspberry coulis and the remaining fresh raspberries. Garnish with young, tender raspberry leaves if you have them.