Summer pudding

The perfect thing for summer days when berries are abundant and you want something cool and very very beautiful.
Serves: 4 • Prep time: 20 mins • Cooling time: a few hours
Ingredients
  • 10 slices of white bread, I used Hovis farmhouse white, you don't want sourdough or anything non-squidgy like that as it won't soak the juices up properly or be pliable. 'Real bread' is fine as long as it's 'squidgeable'!
  • 800g of mixed berries, I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Red and black currants are also fab but I didn't have any.
  • 3 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of blackcurrant cordial
Instructions
In a stainless steel pan heat the berries, water, cordial and sugar for a few minutes, until the berries start to release their bright juices. Summer pudding needs a bit of sharpness so don't overdo the sugar, in fact I would add half then taste and see if you need the rest. On the other hand you may be sweet-toothed, so add a bit more, but you mustn't overpower the sharpness of the fruit.

Cut the crusts off the bread (you could make breadcrumbs with them and freeze), then cut each slice in half apart from three. With those three cut them into circles that will fit into the dish as layers - you need a 1 litre pudding basin. Most summer puddings don't have layers of bread actually inside the pudding, but I like it this way.

Now strain the fruit and keep the juice aside. Dip one of the circles into the juice and press it into the bottom of the dish. Then dip each square-edged slice into the juice and use to line the whole dish, overlapping each slice slightly, filling it any gaps and pressing them together to make a seal.

Now tip in some of the fruit then add a disc of bread and do the same til all fruit and bread is layered up, finishing with a bread top.

Pour over any remaining juice.

Now squash it all down using a saucer or anything quite flat that will sit on top of the bowl and just inside the rim, you'll need to place it in a tray first to catch any stray juice. Put something heavy'ish on top of the saucer to squash it down

Put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. It can also be frozen.

To serve, gently and carefully run a palette knife around the sides to looosen, without tearing, then put a plate on top and tip the whole thing upside down to turn out.

Serve with double cream


Nutrition info
Berries are not only wonderful and versatile gems of sweetness, they also provide us with a myriad of nutrients, helping to maintain a well-rounded diet and good health. They're packed to the brim with flavonoids for fighting inflammation and cell damage. They're also a great source of fibre, but only when eaten as the whole fruit; juicing fruit breaks the fibre down before your body has the joy of doing so. Fibre gives your good gut microbes their favourite food and helps them to proliferate and spread their magic right through your system all the way from brain to toes. They also provide vitamin C for healthy skin and connective tissue as well as immunity.

Learn how to weave food like this into a joyful healthy diet with our eatnaturally meal plans.

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James
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