Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cheat's Summer pudding

Serves 4

Proper summer pudding should be weighted and left overnight for the juices from the raspberries, red and blackcurrants to soak through the bread. But the different flavours of the berries have already been married in the cooking pot and anyone can soak bread in purple-black juice. So here is a quick version that has much the same flavour, and the same soggy, fruity bread. The only count it fails on is that it just won't stand up.

175g blackcurrants
175g redcurrants
175g raspberries
75g caster sugar
4 slices of white bread

Remove the stalks from the currants. Put the fruit and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil, and then cook gently till the currants burst their skins and form rich, purple-red syrup. This usually takes 5-7 minutes.

Cut the crusts from the bread and cut it into small triangles, about four from each slice.

Place a few of them in the bottom of a 23cm shallow china dish and cover with some of the warm fruit. Make another layer of bread and another of fruit.

Continue till all the bread and fruit are used up, finishing with a layer of bread if you can. Spoon the warm juice over the bread, pressing gently down with the back of a spoon until the bread is completely soaked.

Set aside for as much time as you have - 15 minutes should do it. Don't attempt to turn it out of the dish. Spoon into bowls and eat with cream.

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