Autumn Pudding

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

Let's Eat

By Tom Parker Bowles

Published 2013

  • About

This juice-stained beauty was originally known as ‘hydropathic pudding’, a rather clinical, dour name for such a splendid confection. But as it contained no pastry, it was seen as the sort of thing well suited to the diet of a spa. So after the enema, Scotch hose and Swiss shower, I’m pretty sure that this would come as sweet relief. I’ve changed the summer pudding to an autumn one, because I think all those blackberries, plums and redcurrants work even better than raspberries. The key is a balance of the sweet and tart. Use good bread, too. The cheap stuff, fine as it is for bacon sandwiches, tends to become slimy.

Ingredients

  • 400 g/14 oz ripe plums
  • 450 g/1 lb ripe blackberries
  • 200 g/7 oz redcurrants or whitecurrants
  • 100 g/ oz caster sugar
  • 1 medium white loaf
  • double cream, to serve

Method

Wash the fruit and remove the stones, stalks and strings. Quarter the plums and put them in a saucepan with the sugar and 125 ml/4 fl oz water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the blackberries, cook for 3 minutes, then add the currants and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring from time to time until the fruit is tender but keeps its shape. Allow to cool slightly.

Line a 1.4 litre/ pint pudding basin with 2 long pieces of cling film so the base and sides are lined and the cling film drapes over the top edges of the basin. Cut the loaf into 1 cm thick slices then, using 8–9 slices depending on the size of the loaf, trim off the crusts. Cut a circle the size of the base of the basin, add to the basin, then cut 5–6 slices of bread in half and arrange around the sides of the basin, overlapping the edges slightly and pressing together.

Spoon in the warm fruit, reserving a little juice for serving, and cover with the remaining bread, again pressing the edges together. Fold the cling film over the top, cover with a small plate and weigh down with 2 cans of food. Put in the fridge overnight. Cover with a serving plate, invert the basin, then remove it. Peel off the cling film and brush any white patches with the reserved juice. Serve with lashings of cream.