Traditional English Summer Pudding
Ingredients | Summer Pudding
olive oil, for greasing
800 g mixed summer berries, such as raspberries,
redcurrants, strawberries, blackcurrants
150 g sugar
½ an orange
½ teaspoon vanilla paste, optional
7 large slices of white bread
2 tablespoons red berry jam
Ingredients | Vanilla Custard
1 cup milk
1 cup thickened cream
1 Vanilla Bean (see note)
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/3 cup caster sugar
Method | Summer Pudding
Grease an 850ml pudding basin with oil and line with 2 sheets of clingfilm, letting a little bit overhang. Remove any stalks from the berries. Hull and quarter the strawberries (if using). Place all the berries in a large, heavy-based saucepan with the sugar, orange juice and vanilla paste (if using). Cook over a low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and juices start bleeding from the fruit. Set aside to cool. Remove the crusts from the bread, then spread over the jam.
Line the basin with 6 of the slices, jam-side up. Overlap slightly to ensure no gaps, and press the bread against the sides.
Spoon the cooled fruit and half its juice into the lined basin, reserving the remaining juice. Cover the pudding with the last slice of bread, jam-side down, then pull over the overhanging clingfilm. Place a saucer that fits inside the basin on top of the pudding, then place a weight, about 2kg, on top of it. Refrigerate overnight to soak up the juices.
Strain the leftover juice through a fine sieve into a small pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the juice has reduced into a light syrup. Pour into a jug and keep in the fridge. To serve, open the clingfilm and carefully invert the pudding onto a plate. Drizzle large slices with the syrup and serve with crème fraîche or cream, if you like.
Method | Vanilla Custard
Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan. Using a sharp knife, split vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape out seeds. Add bean and seeds to milk mixture. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until hot (do not allow to boil). Remove saucepan from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Remove vanilla beans from milk mixture. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
Return mixture to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes or until custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon (do not allow custard to boil, as it might curdle)
Serve custard warm or cold over stewed fruit, pancakes or crumbles.