Summer Pudding

Summer pudding is a simple but brilliant creation. Ideally you should turn out a dome entirely dark with absorbed juices but always keep some of the cooking juices in reserve for pouring over the pudding after turning it out in case some of the bread still shows. All kinds of juicy summer fruit can be used but a good proportion of blackcurrants and raspberries is important. Serve with more soft fruit and cream.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb) blackcurrants
  • 250 g (8 oz) redcurrants
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) fresh orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 500 g (1 lb) raspberries
  • 1 small unsliced day-old white loaf
  • Extra fresh fruit to decorate

Method

Using a fork strip the blackcurrants and redcurrants off their stalks. Put the orange and lemon juices and the sugar in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then add the blackcurrants and redcurrants. Cover and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes until the juices have run and the fruit is soft. Stir in the rasp berries and remove from the heat.

Cut the loaf of bread into thin slices and a circle to fit the base of a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin or mould. Cut off and discard the crusts. Line the base and then the sides with overlapping slices of bread, leaving no gaps. Fill the basin with the fruit mixture, reserving any remaining juices and then top with more layers of bread. Put a saucer or small plate on top and weight it down. Chill for several hours or overnight.

To serve, turn it out on to a serving plate, pour over the reserved fruit juices and arrange some fresh fruit on top.

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