Serves 4 (I usually make a double set, because I have a suitable 2l bowl, but..)
Summer pudding is a great way of putting various fruits to use and making a really bold colour statement too. The fruit juices stain the bread dramatic shades of red to purple, depending on the fruit you use. You can also make it successfully with frozen fruit, f saved, perhaps from a pick-your-own mission. Try to make this at least a couple days before you need it so the bread gets well soaked up with the juices from the fruit. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
- 800-900g summer fruits, such as strawberries (halved), raspberries, redcurrants and blackberries (when in season)
- 100-150g sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit
- 6 or so slices white toasting bread, about 1/2cm thick, crusts removed (or as many as you need to line a 1 litre pudding bowl or 4 individual ones)
- Put the mixed berries and the sugar (a little extra if you are using redcurrants, as these are tarter) into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 2 minutes to soften the fruit slightly, then take the pan off the heat and leave to cool a little. If you are using frozen fruit, you may need to drain off some of the liquid that forms as they defrost before adding the sugar. Then simply bring the fruit and sugar to the boil and take off the heat.
- Blend about one-sixth of the fruit, along with its juice, in a liquidiser until smooth and set it aside to serve with the pudding. Watch it! I had to clean the whole kitchen twice before I successfully blended about 300 ml of thick sauce without dispatching it to ceilings and walls. Use absurdly large blender bowl.
- Line a 1 litre pudding basin with transparent foil (this will make it easier to turn it out). Leave some extra foil outside , it will help to fold the mixture in for storage.
- Make a circle from a slice of bread (or make four small circles if you are using individual basins) to fit the base.
- Cut the rest of the bread into pieces to fit around the sides, overlapping them slightly and pressing the joins together with your fingers.
- Spoon the fruit and a little of the juice into the lined basin to come halfway up.
- Put in a slice of bread, then top up with the rest of the fruit and juice.
- Cut some more bread to fit the top.
- Fold the sides over it a little and gather together the clingfilm in the midd
- Put a plate on top and a couple of tins, or something else that’s heavy enough to keep it all in place, on top of the plate, and leave overnight in the fridge to set. The weight, evenly distributed across the top is important to solidify the final from of the pudding.
- To serve, run a small knife around the pudding to loosen it and turn it out by inverting on a serving plate.
- Spoon the sauce over and serve with a great big dollop of thick Jersey cream or a blob of of whipped cream (or, as we do, with eggnogg..)..