Do you remember my smugness at our first self sufficient meal earlier this year? Well, production hasn’t been so amazing that we’re suffering from a glut yet, though I am having to find new ways with raspberries as the autumn fruiting variety are in full production.
We scoffed the first raspberries straight from the cane. The next ones made it to the table where they were eaten with cream. Since then they’ve been tumbled with rose syrup, mixed with peaches, sandwiched between meringues with a dollop of cream and gently heated with a few loganberries and sugar to make a warm compote.
I’ve made raspberry cake and cranachan and of course I’ve made summer pudding. It’s not a particularly attractive looking pudding, but it tastes good and we have to eat it at least once in summer time. It’s a dish that should be eaten on a sunny day in the garden, sitting under the dappled shade of a tree but we inevitably eat it on an overcast day in the kitchen. You’ll probably need about 150g of fruit for each person and you can make it as one large pudding or individual ones.
Slice some day-old bread and cut off the crusts. Cut the slices into suitable shapes so that you can line a pudding basin, making the bread fit snugly so that the fruit won’t escape, keeping back enough to put on the top.I use whatever soft fruit I have – never strawberries but always blackcurrants because you need a bit of tartness. This summer pudding was just raspberries and blackcurrants, but later in the year I’ll throw some blackberries in as well. Put your fruit into a stainless steel saucepan with a couple of tablespoonfuls of water and enough sugar to suit your taste, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until the blackcurrants start to burst but before the raspberries disintegrate.
Pour most of the fruit mixture with all its glorious juice into the bread lined basin and lay the remaining bread on top to make a lid. Put a saucer on top and sit a heavy weight on the saucer so that the fruit squashes down and the juice soaks into the bread. Leave overnight in the fridge. Just in case some of the bread hasn’t soaked up the juice, I reserve a little of the cooked fruit and push it through a sieve to make a sauce that I can pour over the pudding.
Turn the pudding out of the dish onto a plate – you may need to run a pallete knife carefully around the basin before turning it upside down – and leave it at room temperature for ten to fifteen minutes to take the chill off. Pour over the sauce if you have white bread showing or serve separately if your pudding has worked perfectly. I cannot eat this without cream.