Thursday, August 26, 2010

WHY have I never made Summer Pudding before???????

Pray tell...what is this lurid image I see before me? Why it is a Summer Pudding...a deceptively, almost cheekily simple dessert from the Isle of Blighty!! WHY have I never made it before...because I have always thought it is too simple to be truly good...was I right..NO I WASN' is SSSOOOOOOOOO good, it so transcends the sum of it's parts, it is sublime and anyone can make it...really anyone!!
All you need is some good soft, summer fruits...I used just blackberries and raspberries but if you are lucky enough to have on hand red, white and/or blackcurrants, strawberries, loganberries, cherries or blueberries you can use any combination of two or three or all of them...

8ozs raspberries

8ozs blackberries
(or 1lb of the above fruits in whatever combination you are inclined to use them)

4oz / 1/2 cup of sugar

about 4/6 slices of good white bread...something with a bit of backbone not the squushy stuff
THAT'S IT for the ingredients!!...well also some lightly sweetened whipped cream to finish.

1. Combine the fruits and sugar in a heavy pan and bring to a slight boil, stir gently and simmer for a brief minute. Take off the heat.

2 Cut the crusts off the white bread slices and line a medium sized pudding bowl with them...I did this in a rather haphazard manner but if you are somewhat organized you can cut the bread into triangles and apparently that'll make your life easier with the fitting of the curves, leaving no gaps and saving one slice to top the pudding with, as you can see below I ran out of my sliced white loaf and ended up using some baguettes slices but that's a bit naughty!!

3. Spoon half the berries and juice into the lined pudding basin, then add the crusts (not traditional but I didn't want to throw the crusts away and this gave my pudding a little more structure), or a circle torn from one slice of bread to fit in the bowl, and finish with the rest of the berries and juice.

4. Then cover the pudding with the final slices of bread torn to fit...not like mine with baguette slices!!!
5. Now find a saucer or similar...I used the top of a yoghourt container, and place some weight on to the saucer...I put a bottle of cider vinegar in a small flat bottomed bowl, and leave in the fridge overnight to settle.

6. Next day take the weights off and run a knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen it from the bowl...I also ended up dipping the bowl into hot water to help loosen...then invert the bowl onto a plate...good luck with this part!!

7. Dollop oodles of lightly whipped, lightly sugared cream around the screaming magenta pudding and eat to your hearts content...this pudding will not stay around for long so plan on having all the ingredients to hand the next day to make another...that's what I'm going to do!!
 I am thoroughly gobsmacked that this simple dessert is so delicious and could kick myself for never having tried it before...I am a total Summer Pudding convert.

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