“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” - Hal Borland
We have a range of fresh berries in the greengrocer’s at the moment and this is the time of the year that we get to enjoy a very traditional English dessert. It’s very simple to make, but making it taste good depends so much on the good quality of all the ingredients used.
English Summer Pudding
3 tbsp maraschino liqueur
180 g caster sugar
500 g washed, mixed summer fruits as available (raspberries, strawberries, red and blackcurrants, damsons and blackberries)
180 g plain sponge cake, cut into 1 cm slices
Whipped cream, or chilled vanilla yoghurt
Stir the liqueur and sugar together and bring to a gentle boil. Add all the berries and fruits except strawberries. Stew the fruits very gently and not for too long. They should simply be softened but still retain their shape. Once they are ready put to one side (juice and all) and leave to cool.
Cut the slices of cake into triangles. They do not all have to match perfectly, but you will use these to line a 700 ml pudding basin.
Start by lining your pudding basin with cling film. Then continue by dipping a couple of cake triangles in the juices of the stewed fruits. Lay these in the bottom of the dish and then continue the same way but lining the sides of the basin with cake slices ensuring there are no gaps. Once completed, fill with the stewed fruits including the strawberries. Cover the top with more juice dipped cake slices.
Make sure to not add too much of the juices from the fruits as this may cause the cake to lose its shape. There must be enough to soak into the cake though. Place a saucer on the top of the basin and weigh down with something heavy. Place in the refrigerator and leave overnight. The next day, before serving, turn the pudding out onto a pretty serving plate and serve with either the whipped cream or chilled vanilla yoghurt.
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