Tuesday, August 25, 2009

English Summer Pudding

On my recent trip to England my sister and I spent a couple days in Yorkshire visiting family friends who have an amazing vegetable garden. We picked our own veggies for lunch and dinner and one night we decided to make a summer pudding because of the abundance of berries in their garden. We used white currants, red currents, black currants and raspberries. The more raspberries and redcurrants you use, the brighter the color will be. I would avoid using strawberries, as they lose their color and don't really have a strong enough flavor.

Summer Pudding is quick, easy and delicious and will forever make me nostalgic for English summers. The trick is to use slightly stale bread which will hold together better and to leave the whole thing in the fridge overnight, however because ours was an impromptu summer pudding we used day old bread and only refrigerated for a few hours - hence the falling apart look. I can assure you it tasted delicious though!

The following quantities are rather an estimate on my part as we didn't use a recipe but I doubt you would have any problems trying to recreate it

2lb mixed fresh berries, eg raspberries, redcurrants, blackberries
1/4 water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
8 or so slices good quality thin sliced white bread, stale
Cream for serving

First combine the white currants, red currents, black currants with the water and sugar in a small saucepan and leave on a gentle heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries start to soften and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add more sugar if too sour and add the raspberries.

Next Remove the crusts from the bread and cut a piece to fit the bottom of a pudding basin or bowl. Use the remaining slices to line the sides of the bowl reserving a couple slices to use for a lid.

Pour the berries into the bowl with the juices as well, and top with the final layer of bread, cutting to fit. Press down on the pudding until the juices rise to the top, covering the bread. Place a saucer, small plate on top of the pudding (try and find one that fits more or less exactly the width of the bowl), put a weight or something heavy on top, and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to serve place a serving plate on top of the pudding and turn both over together until the pudding falls out.
Serve with some fresh cream

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