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Valentine Warner's summer pudding

‘For me, this traditional pudding sums up an English summer – nothing can better the flavour of fresh British berries ripened naturally in the sunshine’

30 JUNE 2011
Summer pudding Enlarge
Ingredients (Serves 6)
  • 600g/1lb 6oz raspberries, rinsed
  • 600g/1lb 6oz strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved if large
  • 600g/1lb 6oz blackberries
  • 300g/11oz caster sugar
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 150ml/¼pt white wine
  • 300ml/½pt water
  • 7 slices thick-cut white bread
  • Fresh Jersey double cream, to serve (optional)

Method

Put half of the fruits into a large saucepan together with the sugar, lemon juice, white wine and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.

Lift out the fruit into a sieve using a slotted spoon, strain any liquid back into the saucepan then put the fruit in a bowl and leave to cool.

Reserve 200ml/7fl oz of the fruit liquid for “painting” the bread.

Return the saucepan to the heat and boil the remaining liquid for 20- 25 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Leave to cool.

Mix the cooled, cooked fruit and reduced syrup with the raw fruit.

Line a 1.8ltr/3¼pt pudding basin with 2 sheets of overlapping clingfilm (the edges should hang over the top of the basin so that they can enclose the pudding). Cut the crusts off the bread and cut 6 slices in half lengthways. Using a pastry brush, paint one side of each half with the reserved liquid.

Use the remaining slice of bread to cut and paint a circle that fits the bottom of the basin. Put this in the basin with the painted side facing the clingfilm. Arrange bread slices all the way around the sides of the basin, overlapping slightly where the joins meet, with the painted sides towards the clingfilm. Spoon the fruit into the basin and pack down well. Top neatly with the remaining painted slices of bread.

Cover with the overhanging pieces of clingfilm and place a side plate on top, with a heavy weight on top to press everything down. Refrigerate and leave overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the weight, lift the clingfilm off the top of the summer pudding and invert carefully onto a serving plate. Remove the clingfilm. If there is any syrup left, use a pastry brush to daub any pale patches with it.

Serve the pudding with fresh Jersey double cream, if liked.

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