We Brits certainly do love to use bread in a dessert. Bread and butter pudding, bread pudding (yes, they’re two different things,) queen of puddings, treacle tart and of course summer pudding.
My mum used to make this quite a lot, often using using home-grown blackcurrants, when she managed to beat the birds to the ripe ones anyway. I’m not a big fan of blackcurrants so I use blueberries instead which makes this dessert a little less tart.
Bread in America is, for some reason, sweet. This makes it a bit weird for toast and Vegemite but really good for this recipe. Elsewhere in the world you can just use ordinary, shop-bought sliced white bread, preferably a day or two old.
This is one of those desserts that looks like it requires far more effort than it actually does. I do love a recipe like that!
makes 4 individual puddings
500g mixed berries (frozen is fine)
6 tbsp water
big squeeze of lemon juice
10-12 slices white bread
Combine all the ingredients except the bread in a medium saucepan. Let the pan sit over a moderate heat for a few minutes to lightly poach the fruit and release their juices. Use a slotted spoon to lift the fruit from the pan and set it aside. Allow the remaining liquid to bubble for a few minutes more until it thickens and becomes a tiny bit syrupy. Leave this to cool a bit.
Line your pudding basins with cling film. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut the slices so that they will snugly line the pudding basins. It’s okay if the edges overhang a bit, you can fold them over to cover the base. A cookie cutter is idea for the tops.
Dip one side of each piece of bread into the juice and place them, juice side down into the pudding basins. Once the pudding basin is completely lined with bread simply spoon in the fruit. Add a little of the juice and fold over any overhanging pieces of bread so the the pudding is sealed. Do this for all of the puddings, finishing them off by spooning over any remaining juices. Put cling film over the top of each pudding, place them on a dish to catch any drips and put a saucer or plate on top of each. Weigh these down (I use 400g tins) and put the puddings in the fridge to chill for 5-6 hours.
Just before serving turn each pudding out (which should be easy because of the cling film) and garnish with a few fresh berries. I like to serve mine with a little vanilla infused whipped cream.