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Summer pudding

Summer pudding

This traditional pudding just sums up an English summer and nothing can better the flavour of fresh British berries ripened naturally in summer sunshine!

Serves 6

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Chilling time: overnight

600g/1lb 6oz raspberries
600g/1lb 6oz strawberries hulled and halved if large
600g/1lb 6oz blackberries
300g/11oz caster sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
150ml/ ¼ pt white wine
300ml/ ½ pt water
6 slices of thick cut white bread
Fresh jersey double cream, to serve

1)    Put half the fruits in a large saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice, wine and water

2)    Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for five minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.

3)    Lift out the fruit into a sieve using a slotted spoon, strain any liquid back into the saucepan, then put the fruit in a bowl on the side. Allow it to cool (this is so you don’t cook the raw fruits in the hot ones)

4)    Reserve 200ml/7fl oz of the fruit syrup for painting the bread.

5)    Return the pan to the heat and boil the remaining liquid for 20-25 minutes until syrupy. Allow to cool.

6)    Combine the cooled cooked fruit and reduced syrup with the raw fruit. (I like the mixture of cooked and not-cooked for better flavour and texture).

7)    Line a 1.8 litre/3 ¼ pt pudding basin with two sheets of overlapping cling film (the edges of the cling film should hang over the top of the basin so that they can enclose the pudding).

8)    Cut the crusts off the bread and cut each slice into two rectangles.

9)    Thoroughly paint one side of each rectangle with the reserved syrup.

10) Cut and paint a circle of bread that fits the bottom of the basin. Put this in the basin with the red side facing the cling film.

11) Arrange the bread all the way around the inside of the basin, overlapping slightly where the joints meet, with the painted side always facing the cling film.

12) Spoon the fruit into the basin and pack down well. Top neatly with the remaining painted slices of bread.

13) Cover with the overhanging pieces of cling film and place a side plate holding a heavy weight on top to press it down. Put in the fridge and leave overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the weight, open the cling film and invert the pudding on to a serving plate. Remove the cling film. Should there be any syrup left, using a pastry brush, daub any pale patches with it. Serve the pudding with cream.