Summer pudding

summerpudTHE trick with summer puddings is having just enough liqor to stain the bread and not so much that it sogs. Most recipes demand that you make a syrup with sugar – if you have too try agave instead – but if the fruit is ripe it can be sweet enough all right. Cooking for a short time helps bring out the natural sugars.

(Sugar is bad in case you had not heard because it interferes with your taste receptors so you don’t taste anything else and you end up becoming a TV addict watching the Great British Bake-Off. (Great show, Mary, just a shame about the sugar content)).

Just lightly poaching the berries though helps the sweetness and you can compensate at the end with cream or creme fraiche. Any berries are fine – it is the mix up that counts. It looks more difficult than it is…sliced bread makes it easier. This is how it should look:summerpudpour_1_1The skill is to have a little water in the pan to poach the fruits – say three minutes – and then you have a liqor which you can paint on or wipe the bread in and then fold it into a dome in the basin. Once you manage to get the top on, you need to weigh it down with a plate and something heavy to compress it some while it chills in the fridge. The other trick is turning it out without breaking it…

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