Rote Grütze is a northern German summer pudding that my dad introduced me to when he lived in Bremen. It is usually served in a showy glass bowl with a layer of pouring cream infused with bourbon vanilla floating over it. Delicious!
Use any of the fruit that’s in season: ripe (I really mean ripe!) gooseberry, black and redcurrent, sweet or sour cherry, plum, apricot, peach, jostaberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry…a mixture of several works well.
You also need sugar and, if you want to use it, some alcohol (e.g. brandy, rum, Cointreau).
Remove stones and chop the larger fruit into bite-size pieces. Add all the fruit, except the soft fruit (rasp- and strawberries) into a pan with sugar and a little fluid (water or alcohol) and stew lightly with the lid on.
How much sugar you add depends on your taste and how sour the combination of fruit is you used. I guess you could use different sweeteners, including honey, but I’ve not tried that.
Once the fruit has drawn some liquid, take some off and thicken it with your favourite thickener (gelatine or a vegan alternative). Use no more than what would set 1/3 of the total final volume – the result should be creamy in consistency, not set solid.
Take the fruit off the heat when it is slightly softened and add the thickened juice to it. Allow to cool and refrigerate for several hours.
Infuse vanilla seeds in pouring cream a while and serve with the Rote Grütze. If you must, it also goes well with vanilla ice cream.