1. In a large saucepan, combine strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, currants, wine, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Stir to mix. Cook over low heat until strawberries are very soft, about 20 minutes. There should be some texture to the pudding, so don't overcook until all the berries have liquefied.
2. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and stir with a fork until dissolved. Add this mixture to the berries, stirring well to avoid lumps. Simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, and pour the berry mixture into a bowl or container. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 to 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. Mixture will thicken.
3. Prepare the vanilla sauce. Have ready a medium bowl sitting in a larger bowl of ice. Add milk to a medium saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into the milk, then add the bean and 1?4 cup of the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with the remaining 1?4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in about 1?2 cup of the hot milk to temper the yolks.
5. Stir the yolk mixture into the remaining milk in the pan. Cook slowly over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken to coat the back of a spoon, but be careful not to let it curdle. When mixture starts to thicken, remove it from the stove immediately and strain through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl resting on a bed of ice. The goal is to cool the sauce as quickly as possible to avoid any curdling. After sauce has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate, covered, until chilled.
6. To serve, spoon chilled berry pudding into small bowls or parfait glasses. Top with vanilla sauce and serve remaining sauce on the side.
By Johannes Wiebus
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, May - June 2011