Even people who are not lovers of desserts usually love summer pudding. There are millions of summer pudding recipes, just as there are for meat loaf, Irish stew or pizza.
Most summer pudding recipes differ mainly in the exact proportions of fruit.
This is my own favorite amongst all the summer pudding recipes I have used. It makes a large, six pint baking bowl of summer pudding. That might seem like a lot, but this dessert is not a heavy one, and most people cannot get enough of it.
It uses a lot of soft fruit, so the only way to make it economically, is to use your home grown blackcurrants and raspberries. Blackcurrants ripen in June and July, so freeze them and keep them until August, when the raspberries will be ready. You can freeze your raspberries until you have enough. The raspberries go mushy when they come out of the freezer, but they go mushy when they are cooked anyway. Blackcurrants freeze well and keep their shape and texture when they are thawed out.
You will need about:
- Half a pound of blackcurrants,
- Few blueberries
- Two pounds of raspberries or loganberries
- Two pounds of fresh strawberries (frozen strawberries go mushy, the strawberries must keep their shape and texture in summer pudding recipes)
- Redcurrants (freeze your own in June)
All the quantities are approximate, do not worry if you are a bit short or high on any one fruit.
Put all it in a large, stainless steel saucepan (aluminium is dissolved by the acid in it, so don't use non-stick ones that have aluminium underneath)
Add about half a pint of water and three or four heaped tablespoons of white sugar.
Heat gently, stirring the whole time. Do not let it burn or stick. it is ready when the raspberries have all gone mushy. This usually happens before it boils. The strawberries should still be firm. If you overcook it mixture your strawberries will turn to mush.
You will have a lot of liquid in your pan. Strain it through a large stainless steel sieve. Keep the liquid for later. Put it in the fridge once it has cooled down.
Trim the crusts off about eight slices of white bread. (You can use wholemeal bread if you prefer)
Line your six pint baking bowl with the crustless slices of bread, overlapping rather than leaving gaps. You can cut or tear the bread to shape if you want to.
Ladle the warm fruit mixture into the baking bowl nearly to the top. Include any liquid that is left with it. Place a plate on top of it and weigh it down with a couple of food cans. Place it mixture in the bowl to cool. Put it in the fridge once it is cool enough.
Serve the pudding cold or cool, depending on your taste, with the reserved liquid from cooking it and fresh cream to pour over it.