An English Summer Pudding is the perfect way to celebrate summer. The mix of ripe summer berries provides the taste of summer on a plate.
Summer brings an abundance of fresh food. The warmer weather and longer days are ideal for plant growth. Berries are a summer fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, black and redcurrants are all in season in August. Now is the time to make the most of these fruits before winter sets in.
Every year my raspberry canes produces loads of raspberries. Every day more ripen and I have a freezer full of raspberries. I also have numerous jars of raspberry jam. This year my blackcurrant bush also had a decent crop. A A great recipe to use up both blackcurrants and raspberries is an english summer pudding.
Summer pudding is a sweet bread pudding. It is made by lining a bowl with bread and filling it with juicy summer berries. The result is a light and flavourful pudding which looks stunning. Serve the pudding on a white platter where the ruby red juice will ooze temptingly from it. This will make a dramatic ending to your meal.
The use of bread in puddings goes back to the early 11th and 12th centuries. Rather than waste stale bread cooks came up with recipes to use it up. Bread pudding is a prime example of this and it became known as poor man’s pudding in 13th Century England. Summer pudding is a very English dessert. It has its origin in the 19th century where is was given to the sick and also a diet food. Then rich pastries encased fruit desserts and bread was less fattening. Once popular in health spas it was known as hydropathic pudding. Now known as summer pudding it really is the ideal pudding for this season.
To make english summer pudding you need a pudding bowl. Grease this with butter to allow you to turn out the pudding easily when it is ready. You can also line the bowl with cling film. Line the bowl with slightly stale white sandwich bread. The crusts should be cut off and the slices should overlap.
Now it is time to choose the berries to make the filling. Four parts raspberry to one part redcurrant is the traditional mixture but in reality any mix of summer berries is fine. Typically summer puddings include blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and redcurrants. The addition of blackcurrants adds a little tartness to the sweetness of the other berries.
Before you add the berries into the bowl you need to warm them in a pan to release the juice. Add some sugar and heat gently for about five to six minutes. The juice should run from the fruits. If you don’t have fresh berries you can use frozen fruit to make summer pudding. The fruit will need heating a little longer to release the juice. The final step is to pour the berries and juice into the bowl. Keep a little juice aside to finish the pudding. Add a layer of bread over the top of the bowl and put the pudding in the fridge overnight. Add a saucer on top of the bowl with a tin or other weight in it to press the pudding down. The next day turn the pudding out onto a plate to serve, touching up any white areas with the extra juice.
A light and fresh bread pudding filled with summer berries.
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Have you made summer pudding before? What did you think? Let me know below.