The first is summer pudding, a glistening ruby red dome of berry-soaked pud that started life in British spas and nursing homes. Rather unromantically, it was served to the patients as Hydropathic Pudding, an alternative to heavy puddings made with pastry.
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- 1kg mixed fresh berries, especially raspberries and redcurrants
- 50mL water
- 175g caster sugar
- 8 stale slices good white bread, thinly sliced
This is best made a day ahead, allowing the juices to ooze into the bread and turn the lot into a juicy, vividly berry-red dome. Don't fuss about doing perfect trapezoids of bread - it all seems to meld together when left overnight.
Combine three-quarters of the berries with the water and sugar in a small saucepan and gently heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove and add more sugar if too tart. Add almost all of the remaining berries and strain the fruit, keeping all the juices.
Remove the crusts from the bread and cut a piece to fit the base of a one-litre pudding basin or bowl.
Cut the remaining slices into rectangles and triangles to cover the sides of the bowl.
Add the berries and some of their juices and top with a final layer of bread, cutting to fit. Press lightly until the juices rise to the top, covering the bread. Place a weighted saucer on top and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate the remaining juices as well.
To unmould, ease a knife between pudding and bowl, place a serving plate on top and invert.
Spoon the reserved juices on top and arrange the reserved berries on top.
Serve with pouring cream or ice-cream.
This recipes is featured in the book, Summer is available now in all good bookstores RRP $34.95. To order direct call 1300 656 059 or visit www.smh.com.au/store