Professionally trained Cordon Bleu chef Justine Kanter shares her step-by-step guide to summer pudding.
The perfect dessert for a summer dinner party, this pudding is easy to create and is a great way to make the most of the gluts of summer berries and fruits that are around from July to September.
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Tips and techniques
- Simmer rasberries and redcurrants for a maximum of 3 minutes so redcurrants keep their shape.
- Ideally use a white sandwich tin loaf.
- Bread should be a few days old - this will make it drier and it will therefore absorb more liquid.
- Pour juices into the bread-lined pudding bowl while they are hot so they absorb better.
- Keep the summer pudding in the fridge for about 3 days if possible to let the fruit fully infuse into the bread.
- 1 litre pudding basin
- 1 large white loaf, slightly stale
- 700g raspberries
- 175g redcurrants
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- Double cream to serve
Pick the redcurrants off their stems and wash them.
Place them with the raspberries into a wide, flat pan over a low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and taste. Add a third while the fruit is cooking, according to taste (this also depends on the sweetness of the fruit). The pudding does need to have a slight sharpness to it.
Add the water and then bring to the boil.
Leave it to simmer gently for no more than 3 or 4 minutes (no need to stir). There should now be lots of juice. Turn off the heat.
Slice the bread the same thickness as you would use for making sandwiches. Remove the crusts and set one slice aside. Cut the rest into two, so that you have a pile of rectangular pieces.
Using the base of the bowl as a template, take the reserved slice and cut around the bowl to create a disc of bread. Dip the disc into the fruit pan, dunking it well into the juices, and place it on the bottom of the bowl, juice side down. Now take the triangles and do the same thing, dipping into the juice and placing them around the bowl, juice side facing outwards, so that you line the bowl completely, leaving no holes. You can use smaller pieces to fill any gaps.
Now pour the fruit mixture into the bowl, right up to the top, and create a lid with the remaining bread pieces. No fruit should be left showing.
Place the bowl on a plate to catch any drips. Place a saucer on top of the bowl with some weights on top to squash everything down. Any tins or jars will do.
Place in the fridge overnight (2 days will be even better).
Just before you're ready to serve, remove the saucer and weights and take a knife gently around the sides to ease its exit. Put a plate on top and quickly turn it over, holding the plate firmly in place. Give it a firm shake and the pudding will slide out.
Serve with double cream and cut into slices as if you were cutting a cake.
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