Most good greengrocers have fresh raspberries and blueberries around Christmas time. Look out for red currants too. If you have no luck with fresh berries, try the frozen ones from large supermarkets. Summer pudding needs to be made at least a day before it is to be served. It makes a great festive dessert and is perfect for a warm Christmas.
- ½ loaf sliced white bread, crusts removed
- 750 g mixed fruit, choosing from strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or other berry fruits, red currants, blackcurrants, stoned cherries, fresh or frozen
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
Reserve 3 slices of the bread, cut the remaining slices into wedges or oblongs and use to line the base and sides of a 4-cup pudding basin, soufflé dish or charlotte mould. Cook the fruit and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan, covered, over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. This encourages the fruit juices to flow. Allow to cool.
Spoon half the fruit into the pudding basin and lay one of the reserved slices of bread on top. This gives the dessert the body needed to turn out later. Spoon in the remaining fruit, top with the 2 remaining reserved slices of bread, then spoon the remaining fruit juice over, reserving 1–2 tablespoons for coating any patches once the pudding is turned out.
Place a small plate on top of the pudding, making sure it sits inside the basin. Place weights or heavy tins on top (about 500 g is needed) to compress and place the basin on a large plate to catch juices. Refrigerate overnight.
Turn out onto a plate and serve whipped cream separately, if liked.
This recipe first appeared in Margaret Fulton’s 12 Days of Christmas ($24.95) courtesy of Hardie Grant.