Prep 30 mins
Cook 6 hrs
By August, the Balmoral gardens are bursting with late season fruit and berries, especially strawberries. All this bounty meant that Summer Pudding would be on the menu at least once a week. The royal family loved to take this out on picnics and would spoon it right out of the dish
- 2 lbs mixed berries (cherries, strawberries, raspberries, red currants, black currants, blackberries, blueberries)
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 8 slices dense white bread, several days old
- 1 sprig of fresh mint, for garnish
- clotted cream
- Prepare the fruit by stoning and halving the cherries, removing stems from the red and black currants, and hulling and quartering the strawberries. Keep each type of fruit separate at this stage.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pan add the cherries, water, vanilla paste, and sugar over a low heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the cherries simmer until they start to soften. Add the strawberries and blackberries and stir; simmer 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the blueberries, red currants, black currants, and finally the raspberries. Remove from the heat, and carefully strain the fruit into a colander, reserving the poaching syrup in a separate bowl.
- Cut the crusts off the bread, and cut a circle from 1 slice of the bread to fit the bottom of the pudding basin. Dip the bread into the poaching syrup and place it into a 1-quart pudding basin or soufflé dish. Cut all but 2 of the remaining 7 bread slices in half, dip them into the syrup, and line the sides of the basin, overlapping each piece slightly.
- Once the basin is completely lined, spoon the fruit into the center and fill the basin to the top. Place the 2 remaining pieces of bread on top of the fruit. Place a saucer that fits snugly inside the basin on top of the bread. Weigh down the top of the pudding by placing something like a large can of tomatoes on top of the saucer. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight along with any remaining poaching syrup.
- Run a spatula around the edges of the pudding, and invert it onto a serving plate. Pour the remaining syrup over the top, and allow the syrup to run down the sides. Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve with the clotted cream.