When there's an abundance of summer berries, one of the best ways of serving them is in an English Summer Pudding. It's so quick and easy, with all the tastes of summer in one dish. Recipe by Elaine Lemm
2 tbsp water
150g caster sugar
450g washed, mixed summer fruits, as available (*see note)
100-150g thin-sliced white bread, crusts removed
Whipped cream or custard
*Soft summer fruits for summer pudding must have a rich, strong colour and flavour. Great berries to use include raspberries, strawberries, red and blackcurrants, damsons and blackberries.
Stir the water and sugar together and bring to a gentle boil. Add the berries and fruits and stew them, very gently, until the fruits are softened but retain their shape. Strain quickly to remove any excess juice but be careful not to remove too much. Save the juices to pour over the pudding.
Line a ¾-litre pudding basin with the bread slices, ensuring there are no gaps. Fill with the stewed fruits and cover the top with more bread slices.
Place a saucer with a weight on top (a can of tomatoes or beans is ideal) and leave overnight in a cool place.
The next day, before serving, turn the pudding out on to a plate and serve with the fruit juices, whipped cream or custard. Summer on a plate.
Back to main article: Seasonal foods for August
See another seasonal article: Barbecued Sea Bass with Peaches