Sunday 30 August 2009

Individual Summer Puddings

I adore summer pudding. There is just something about the soft berry soaked bread and intense, slightly sharp mix of summer fruits, oozing their dark fruity juices, that just makes me happy. We were having a family barbeque and I wanted to make a summer pudding for one of the desserts, but decided to tray and make mini ones instead of the traditional big-bowl pudding. The big ones look impressive, but once you cut that first slice the rest of the pudding sort of disintegrates. I wanted to try and create a pudding with a little finesse.

Hunting in the cupboards I found some small dariole moulds that were the perfect mini pudding shape and decided to use those to create mini summer puddings. I then got thinking that to line the moulds with bread, like you do for the big one, might result in a bread overload and not enough room for the fruit. Instead I decided to layer the fruit and bread inside the mould in alternating layers.

Normally I don’t touch white sliced bread, but for a traditional summer pudding, nothing works or tastes better. I cut out a base, middle and top bread circle, using the corresponding cookie cutters to fit the shape of the mould. I soaked each one in the fruit juices before adding a spoonful of fruit, middle bread layer, more fruit and a final layer of bread. After a short chill in the fridge, I ran a knife around the edge and inverted them onto a plate with my fingers crossed….and…hooray they came out perfectly!

They didn’t collapse, as I had feared they might, but stood tall, sitting in a little pool of their own vibrant juices. I liked how you could see the glossy fruit nestled between the bread layers. The puddings were succulent and full of fruity flavour, the perfect individual summer puddings.

Individual Summer Puddings
800g fresh of frozen summer fruits (I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, red currants, strawberries and a few small gooseberries)
100g caster sugar
4 tbsp water
½ loaf medium white sliced bread (400g)

Destalk the strawberries and cut into pieces the same size as the raspberries. Halve the gooseberries and add all the fruit into a large saucepan along with the water.
Cook the fruit until they are soft and starting to turn pulpy around the edges, but they should remain intact, whole fruits.
Remove the fruit from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside in a clean bowl, leaving the juice behind.
Stir the sugar into the juices and boil for 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Taste the juice, it should still be a little sharp as the fruit will add sweetness, but add more sugar if its too sour for you (I like my fruit with a bit of zing to it)
Remove the juice from the heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, stamp out 3 rounds from the sliced bread to fit the moulds, you will probably need 3 slightly different sized circles for the base, middle and top. (make breadcrumbs with the offcuts).
Once the juice has cooled, dip the smallest base circles of bread into the syrup, scrape off the excess juices and press into the base of the moulds.
Spoon over a tablespoon of the lightly stewed fruits, followed by the middle bread layer after dipping it in the juices first. Another spoonful of fruit and finally the last bread layer.
Cover the moulds with clingfilm, top with a small plate or baking tray and place weights on top to press the layers together.
Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before running a small knife around the edge of the puddings and turn out onto plates. Give them a little shake but they should release easily.
Serve with cream and any leftover juice.
Makes 6 – 7 individual puddings


Johanna GGG said...

gorgeous colour - I have not been a fan of summer puddings but I do love berries and when my mum tried them with panetone last year I loved them - just a thought if you want an alternative to white bread

The Caked Crusader said...

What a stunning colour - I love the glossy fruit juices and the way that it looks like it must've tasted - fruity!

Elle said...

Traditional summer puddings are a bit bready...this looks just perfect and very fruity!

Sam said...

Simply beautiful! I really love summer pudding, yours looks just perfect.

tracieMoo said...

Filled with berries which make the colour look so pretty. I've never had this but I like the look of it already =D

Nora said...

They look just beautiful. What to great idea to layer the bread and fruit so that it's not too bready. The only summer pudding we've made in this house didn't work very well, so we might have to give this one a try!

Nic said...

I made some of these a while back and they were plain nasty, but yours look sooo good, ahhhh!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Mmmm looks so fruity and delightful!