This is the time to make summer pudding, as both red currants and raspberries are in the markets or ripening in your backyard, if your lucky. Many people throw any combination of berries into summer pudding, but it is best when made with only raspberries and red currants in a 3 to 1 ratio. It requires little heat, so perfect for a hot summer day. Make it a couple of days before you want to serve it. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator and also freezers well, but remember to line the bowl with plastic wrap first if the pudding is destined for the freezer.
You’ll need bread, I like egg bread or challah, but any quality white bread will do, not too fresh, I always check the day old bin at my local bakery. A bowl, my ceramic pudding basin is perfect and holds my mixture of 600g raspberries, 200g red currants off the stem, rinsed, and 200g sugar. Place the damp berries and sugar in a frying pan over low heat and stir from time to time until the berries soften and the sugar is dissolves. Meanwhile, cut the crusts off the bread, and line the bowl with bread and set the bowl in a pie dish to catch any drips.
Fill the bowl with the fruit mixture, reserving any left over syrup. Top the pudding with more bread.
Pour over the remaining syrup allowing it to soak into the bread. Cover with plastic wrap, top with a plate, weight down (yet another use for my homemade sauerkraut) and refrigerate at least 24 hours. Remove the weight and plate.
When ready to serve, turn out onto a plate and carefully cut into servings with a bread knife. It’s good with whipped cream but doesn’t really need it. Once cut the pudding looses its structural integrity and will start to sag, Putting the bowl back over it will help hold it together if you have any leftovers.
Why is it called summer pudding? Because of its resemblance to a steamed pudding.
And while we are on names why is making an irreverent sound with your tongue and lips called a raspberry? In the nineteenth century English rhyming slang “raspberry tart” is rhyming slang for a fart.