Friday, January 4, 2013

Summer Pudding

This recipe was originally created for Urban Harvest, do go check out their website for some great produce and other recipe ideas.

Summer pudding is a great way to celebrate the abundance of fresh berries we have at this time of year, maybe even a good replacement for the traditional Christmas pud. You can use any mix of berries you want, I’m sure there are purists out there who insist on the traditional bunch of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and red currants, but I say use what you like, however I think strawberries and raspberries should make a showing. The choice of bread used to line the bowl is important, avoid things like sourdough or supermarket pre-sliced white, use a quality white bread that won't turn to mush, for this recipe I use brioche which is a little more delicate to work with but adds a great richness to the pudding.

2 punnets Raspberries (240g)
1 punnet Blueberries (130g)
1 punnet Strawberries (240g)
200g Boysenberries
1 Brioche loaf (recipe) or good quality white bread
75g Sugar
50ml Water (about 3 tablespoons)
Juice of 1 Lemon

The Berries: Gently rinse and pat dry the berries. Hull the strawberries and slice the larger ones in half or quarters. Heat up the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat, once dissolved and simmering add all the berries apart from the strawberries, simmer for a couple of minutes, they should remain relatively intact, if in doubt take it off the heat we’re not trying to make jam. Strain the berry mix into a bowl, sample the juice and adjust with lemon juice to taste.

Brioche: Remove the crust from the loaf and slice into 5mm slices, reserve 2 squares one for the base and the other for the top, cut the remaining slices down the middle on a slight angle. You should now have a couple of whole slices and a pile of angled rectangular slices.

Putting it all together: Line a bowl with cling-film, I find using a scrunched up tea towel handy to smooth the cling-film down without the fear of tearing it. Dip the whole slice of brioche in the berry juice and lay on the bottom of the bowl, dip the rectangular slices in the juice and build up vertically around the sides of the bowl, overlapping slightly as you go. Spoon in the strained berries, scattering in the strawberries as you go. Dip the other square slice in juice and place it on top, you may need a couple of offcuts to fill any gaps. Bring up the cling-film over the top and place a plate on top with a can or two to weigh it down, refrigerate overnight. Save any leftover berry juice.

Serve: Remove the plate and unwrap the cling-film, place a serving plate on top and flip over, the pudding should slide out relatively easily, if not just give it a gentle tap. Use the leftover juice to drizzle over the top of the pudding. It’s great on its own, but a good dollop of whipped cream would not go amiss.