Be berry glad for leftover hamburger buns

One of the inevitable parts of summer, it seems, is getting stuck with an abundance of leftover hot dog or hamburger buns following a barbecue or get-together.

I don’t know about you, but we often have just a few, sad buns hanging out in the pantry after we grill with friends, and more often than not, the mold gets to them before we do.

Finding myself in that predicament once again this past week, I decided to search for a recipe to rid me of my excess hamburger buns and found a delicious bread pudding recipe that completely transformed the leftovers into a delicious dessert that was perfect for a summer day and a big glob of vanilla ice cream.

I found this recipe on the “Real Simple” website. You can find the original at https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/summer-berry-plum-pudding. I adjusted the type of berries I used in my version, but this is easily customizable, so you can really do whatever is in season or suits your tastes.

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Summer Berry Plum Pudding

Ingredients

3 plums, sliced in half and then into 1/2-inch slices

6 ounces blackberries

16 ounces blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

zest of one lemon

juice of one lemon

4 hamburger or hotdog buns, split

Directions

Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with two pieces of plastic wrap, crosshatched, and make sure there are at least six inches of extra plastic on each side.

Combine the plums, blackberries, blueberries, sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally. It’s done when the blueberries start to pop.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.

Let it sit to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place four of the hamburger or hot dog bun halves into the bottom of the pan, cut sides up. Pour half of the berry mixture on top.

Place the other four hamburger or hot dog bun halves into the pan, again cut sides up, and pour the remaining berry mixture over them. Use a spoon to redistribute the fruit to cover the bread if necessary.

Pull the long sides of the plastic wrap up and over the top of the pan to cover it. Place a plate on top of the plastic and use a few heavy cans as weights on top of the plate.

Refrigerate for about two hours or until it’s chilled through. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

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The original recipe calls for raspberries, which I didn’t use because they’re not Joey’s favorite. Really, you could use any combination of berries that add up to about 24 ounces. Frozen fruit would work great, too, if you thaw it first.

I also think peaches could easily go in the place of the plums, if you’re more into those flavors.

I used whole wheat hamburger buns for my pudding, and after the fruit had a chance to soak in, you honestly couldn’t tell what kind of bread was used. It was quick and easy and much better than moldy hamburger buns sitting on the counter.

Plus, I got a nice, big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to go with my helping, and that’s always a win in my book.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.