Kitchen 2: English Summer Pudding

This is another of those recipes that is more guide lines than instruction. It may sound unpromising, but I assure you it is delicious.

You will need a generous selection of fresh summer berries, the choice is up to you, but you want at least half of them to be the sort that run with juice. I think redcurrants, raspberries and blackcurrants are my favourites.

Put them in a pan with just a hint of water to stop them burning and sugar to taste. Cook them lightly to make the juice run. Take them off the heat and leave to cool. If you want to use strawberries now is the time to add them, they are lovely in there, but don’t respond well too heat in my opinion.

Now find a good sized bowl, at least a two pint one and line it with slices of white bread, crusts removed. You don’t need to be artistic, but you do need to try and keep gaps to a minium. Save some slices for the lid.

Don’t be tempted to wholemeal bread or other healthy options, white is the only thing for this.

Once you have lined your basin spoon the fruit into the middle, reserving a little of the juices, and cover with the remaining slices of bread. Any left over fruit can be poured over ice cream for another dessert later on.

Put a small plate or saucer on the top and then a heavy weight to press it all down. if you don’t have anything suitable, a couple of full cans is usually enough.

Whatever you do, stand the bowl on something to catch any drips!

Into the fridge over night or for at least eight hours.

It should turn out, but just occasionally I’ve had one that sulked and wouldn’t play, it isn’t the end of the world if that happens, it just doesn’t look so pretty.

All the bread should be soaked with berry syrup, but just in case it isn’t, paint with your reserved juice.

Serve with thick cream….that isn’t an option by the way, it would be a crime not too!

If you like dainty puds or you are having a dinner party, it is worth doing individual ones in ramakins. Line them with cling film before you put the bread it, the smaller shape needs a bit of help to hold together.