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Alastair Little's summer pudding

Dessert: Summer Pudding by Alastair Little


Serves 8
Preparation time 1-2 hours
Cooking time less than 10 mins
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 slightly stale, good quality sliced white loaf (thick sliced is better)
  • 225g8/oz redcurrants with stalks picked off
  • 225g8/oz blackcurrants with stalks picked off
  • 225g8/oz whitecurrants with stalks picked off (these may be difficult to find, substitute red and black if so)
  • 225g/8oz raspberries
  • 225g/8oz blackberries
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
 

 
How to make summer pudding:
Remove the crusts from the bread and leave to stale a little further whilst the fruit is being prepared.

Put the red, black and white currants in a pan with the sugar and bring to a bare simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the raspberries and blackberries. Allow to cool completely.

Line a pudding bowl with the slices of bread, trimming them to fit and reserving some for the lid.

Stand this bowl in a tray with a rim and fill the well between the bread slices with the liquid-soaked fruit.

Cut the reserved slices of bread into triangles and use to form a lid to cover the pudding. Trim any protruding bread from the sides, cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and put a plate on the top which should just fit inside the rim of the pudding bowl.

Place tins to the total weight of 1.5kg/3lb on the plate and transfer the whole assemblage to the refrigerator. Keep for up to three days, occasionally spooning back any juices that have overflowed into the tray (there may be quite a lot, this is why you need a tray with a rim).

To serve, remove the weights, greaseproof paper and plate, then carefully run a flexible palate knife down the sides and under the pudding to loosen it from the bowl.

Put your serving plate on top of the bowl and gripping firmly, invert. Tap the base of the bowl with a wooden spoon for luck and remove the bowl. Spoon any accumulated juices from the tray over the top and serve with crème fraîche.

Afterthought

 
For people nervous about getting the pudding out of the bowl, a heretical but successful answer is to line the pudding basin with cling film before assembling the pudding.

 
Please note the insistence on stale white sliced bread, on making the pudding three days in advance and never including strawberries. Ignore these strictures to your peril says Alastair.