… I had a lazy day yesterday thumbing through my cookbooks looking for a recipe for this month’s tea time treats challenge hosted so wonderfully by the lovely Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked… the theme for this month is jelly’s, ice creams and chilled desserts and I was at a bit of a loss to be honest because quite frankly i’ve not really been in the mood for much cooking lately and I feel like the constant challenge to push myself is becoming a bit of a chore… when I get into this kind of baking funk I turn to my old friends the cookbooks and whilst there was a plethora of clever recipes for all kinds of appropriate dishes it was the simple and glorious tradition of the Summer Pudding that got me in the end… as it happens the recipe is adapted from one I found in my grab and run Delia Smith book… Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. I don’t remember when I first had a summer pudding but I do remember how fascinated I was by the fact that it uses bread as it’s building structure, much like it’s more autumnal cousin the bread and butter pudding and I simply adore the fact that all the incredible red berry juices soak into the bread so beautifully.
I have a bit of a thing about chilled fruit puddings you see… whilst many of you out there will eat your traditional british puddings warm with custard I really like my fruit pies, crumbles and puddings served cold from the fridge with a dollop of pouring cream… I have no idea where I got this particular peculiarity from but I just can’t help myself… i’ve even been known to place cake into the fridge and serve this really cold too, there’s something that the coldness does to the taste and consistency that I prefer… maybe it enhances the tartness of the fruit or it could be simply that because it’s cold I can eat it quicker… whatever the reason the Summer Pudding is my ideal dessert.
this recipe is for a 15cm pudding basin
a few slices of thick cut white bread
400g mixed summer berries – the Lincolnshire Co-Op do a frozen summer berry box
2 or 3 tablespoons golden caster sugar – depending on taste
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
use a little butter to grease your pudding basin then take the slices of bread and patchwork them into the basin… I usually cut a circle for the base and then triangles for the sides, fitting in pieces where there are patches… make sure you leave enough for a lid
in a pan add the fruit, orange blossom water, sugar and vinegar and gently heat… you want it to heat through for a few minutes so the sugar dissolves but so that the fruit doesn’t lose it’s texture
pour the fruit into the pudding, place the lid on top and then place a small plate on top of the pudding – small enough so that it touches the pudding, then place something heavy on top and pop it in the fridge for at least 24 hours
once you’re ready to serve turn the pudding upside down and tap it on top… sometimes the pudding drops out easily but on occasion the butter used to line the dish solidifies and you may have to wait a while for it to melt and release the pudding
serve with lashings of cream
eat and of course, enjoy!