Summer pudding

Summer pudding

This is the classic English summer dessert, summer pudding. Along with crème brulée, it’s one of our restaurant’s most popular desserts and one you can easily make at home.

The ingredients are for two individual puddings but you can double up the ingredients for four and so on. The reason it’s preferable to use slightly stale bread is that, being dryer, it absorbs more of the fruit liquid. You’re going to need two moulds for this and, in the likely absence of proper individual pudding moulds, coffee cups make perfectly adequate substitutes. We even use polystyrene cups.

Serves two

  • Five medium cut slices of bread – preferably a few days old – crusts removed
  • A couple of handfuls of mixed summer fruit berries – fresh or frozen
  • Caster sugar
  • Three or four fresh mint leaves – shredded
  • Vanilla ice cream

First place the berries and some sugar into a pan and bring to the boil. How much sugar depends on you so carefully taste it and adjust as the fruits collapse and the juice runs. Remove from the heat and mix in the mint. Allow to cool and then drain off the resultant coulis into a separate bowl.

Smear the inside of each mould with cooking oil and then line with cling film, leaving excess to fold over the top later. This makes it so much easier to remove the puddings when serving. Cut each slice of bread in half resulting in ten pieces. From two of them cut single disks the same size as the base of each mould and place in the coulis for a few minutes ensuring they’re well saturated. Place the discs in the base of the moulds.

Soak the remaining eight half slices of bread and, using four per mould, line each mould by using two around the inside of each circumference (don’t worry if they overlap or don’t even meet) and then two more standing vertically over the seams of the first two. These will protrude above the mould.

Fill each mould with the berries, fold over the bread to cover (trimming if necessary) and then fold over the cling film. Place the puddings in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or even overnight. Keep any remaining coulis for serving.

To serve, peel back the cling film from the top and turn the puddings out upside down onto plates. Pour over any remaining coulis you’ve kept and top with a ball of ice cream and possibly, with a sprig of mint.

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