Prep Time: 30 minutes + around 8 hours refrigeration time
Cook Time: N/a
Summer fruit pudding is one of those childhood favourites of mine, as I am sure it is for many people. It is a delicious and simple classic. It just needs a little planning ahead. Now that frozen summer fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and redcurrants, are readily available in most supermarkets all year round, you are not restricted to enjoying this classic summer dessert solely in season. It is a great dish for entertaining, as it is simple to make but looks very impressive, and tastes juicy, tangy and wonderful. It is also relatively healthy, as puddings go as well, since the main ingredient is fruit (That has to be a great selling-point, right?) Serve it with vegan sour cream or soy yoghurt.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 lb/ 450 g of fresh or frozen mixed red berries, thoroughly thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or agave nectar
½ cup/125 ml red wine
½ cup/125 ml water
1 cinnamon stick, bruised
8 slices of white or multi-grain day-old bread, crusts removed
1 teaspoon arrowroot (optional)
Soy yoghurt or vegan sour cream (e.g. Tofutti Sour Supreme) to serve
1) If you are using fresh fruit, lightly rinse and let it dry. Put the berries, maple syrup, red wine, water, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and gently simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the berries are plump and slightly softened. Remove from the heat and let cool. Discard the cinnamon stick.
2) Cut 6 slices of bread into triangles and use them to line the base and sides of a 2-cup/475-ml capacity bowl. Overlap the bread so it completely covers the bowl, leaving no gaps. Reserve the remaining 2 slices of bread to cover the top of the pudding. Spoon a little of the berry juice evenly over the bread in the bowl to moisten it.
3) Fill the bowl with berries, using a slotted spoon. Pack the fruit down with the back of the spoon, taking care not to squash the fruit too much. Cut the remaining 2 slices of bread into triangles. Put these on top of the fruit to make a lid. Reserve any remaining berry juice.
4) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap/cling film, put a small plate or saucer on top, then put weights on the plate to press it down onto the pudding. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
5) Remove the weights, plate and plastic wrap/clingfilm. Put a large plate upside down on top of the bowl. Carefully invert the bowl and plate, then gently remove the bowl.
6) Put the reserved juice in a saucepan and heat gently. If necessary, gently drizzle the sauce over any parts of the pudding that are not a consistent colour. Serve cold with dollops of soy yoghurt or vegan sour cream, if using.
Picture courtesy of www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk