All the summer fruit is coming to peak ripeness, which means making jam, wine, melomels and fresh desserts. I always make a summer pudding, an old fashioned dessert that uses up a glut of fruit and any stale bread you have. This recipe is from The Hearth Witch’s Compendium:
2 lb. (8 cups/ 900 g) mixed soft fruit (any summer soft fruit available such as raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, strawberries, etc.)
8-10 slices day old bread
2-3 tablespoon water
4-6 oz. (3/4 cup 140 g) caster (superfine) sugar
Rinse a 2 lb. pudding basin in cold water (I cut this recipe in half and used a 1 lb pudding basin in the pictures). Trim the crusts from the bread and line the damp basin with the slices, pressing the bread down firmly and leaving no gaps. Reserve enough bread to cover the top.
Over a low heat dissolve the sugar in the water, add the fruit and simmer for a few minutes. Strain off about ¼ pint of the liquid and put it to one side.
Put the fruit in the basin and cover with the remaining bread.
Stand the basin on a plate and cover it with a saucer. Press the saucer down and place a weight on top. Leave it like this overnight.
To turn out the pudding, remove the saucer and invert the basin onto a plate (if you can – otherwise serve straight from the basin). Remove the basin and pour the remaining liquid over the top.
Serve with cream or ice cream.
© Anna Franklin, The Hearth Witch’s Compendium, Llewellyn, 2018