Summer Pudding

Tumbling with sunshine fruits, easy to make and always a favourite, Silvana Franco prepares that quintessentially British dessert, the summer pudding
By Silvana Franco
Summer Pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus overnight setting
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 450 g cherries, halved and stoned
  • 250 g strawberries, halved
  • 150 g raspberries
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1-2 tbsp elderflower cordial, or blackcurrant cordial
  • 7-8 thick slices day-old white bread, crusts removed
  • double cream, to serve

Method

1. Place the fruit in a pan with the vanilla pod, sugar and water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 3-4 minutes, until the berries soften and the juices are running.

2. Stir in the cordial and taste the mixture for sweetness. Don't worry about taking out the vanilla pod but do warn your guests that it's in there.

3. Using a glass or cup as a template, cut a disc of bread from a slice of the bread and push it into the bottom of a 1litre pudding basin. Cut the remaining slices into wide fingers - you should get 3 out of each slice.

4. Line the inside of the basin with the strips of bread, pushing them together snugly. Reserve a few strips for the top.

5. Fill the bread-lined basin with the fruit and its juice. It should come almost to the rim. Lay the remaining bread on top of the fruit, tearing and patching where necessary, so no fruit is showing.

6. Put the basin in a shallow dish or bowl to catch any juice. Lay a flat plate or small tray on top, heavily weighted to squash the fruit down. Some juice may escape, but most will soak into the bread. Leave overnight in the fridge.

7. When you are ready to serve the pudding, remove the weights and slide a palette knife around the edge of the pudding, pushing carefully down between bread and basin. Put a plate on top, and then, holding the plate in place, turn the whole thing quickly upside down and shake firmly to dislodge the pudding. Cold double cream makes a great accompaniment.

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