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“It was a time for bottling and drying vegetables for the winter table, and for rich summer pudding filled with berries to be set in a cold larder, the juices to mingle.”
An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“One of the loveliest fruit puddings of the world is English Summer Pudding.”
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery by Margaret Fulton
When the weather turns warm and the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven, consider the British summer pudding. It’s simple to make, yet sophisticated and beautiful to behold. Remember that “pudding” in the British lexicon refers to dessert. While we are well known for our steamed puddings, the summer pudding requires no cooking at all.
Using the best of summer’s bounty, it consists of an outer layer of white bread filled with a mixture of seasonal berries, lightly stewed to soften the fruit and bring out the juices. The berries then go into the bread mold, which absorbs the juices and turns a vibrant fuchsia color. Served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, it is guaranteed to impress guests and satisfy every sweet tooth.
- 1lb raspberries
- 10oz strawberries
- 10oz blackberries
- 4oz redcurrants (substitute blueberries if unavailable)
- (or 2.5lb mixed berries of your choice)
- 6oz sugar
- 7 slices of day old white bread, square, medium cut
- Gently wash fruit and pat dry on kitchen paper – keep strawberries separate
- Heat sugar in 3 tbs water in large pan stirring a few times until it dissolves. Boil for 1 minute
- Lower the heat. Tip in the fruit (not strawberries) and cook until fruit is softened but still intact. Put a sieve over a bowl and tip in the fruit and juice
- Line a 1.25 litre pudding basin with 2 pieces of cling film, overlapping in the middle of the basin. Allow the edges to overhang by about 15cm
- Cut the crusts off the bread. Reserve two slices. Cut the other slices in half, a little on an angle. Cut the two reserved slices into rounds.
- Dip one round slice into the juice to coat then place in bottom of basin. Now dip other slices into juice and press around sides of basin overlapping slightly and alternating wide and narrow sides up.
- Spoon in the fruit, adding the strawberries here and there as you go.
- Dip the last piece of bread in the juice and place on top.
- Bring cling film up and seal. Put a plate on top to fit basin and weight down with cans or other suitable heavy object
- Chill overnight
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