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Gooseberry summer pudding
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by Diana Henry
115g caster sugar
Approx 380g good-quality white bread, thickly sliced, crusts removed (you may need a little more or a little less than this)
Icing sugar, to serve
Extra thick cream, to serve
1. Top and tail the gooseberries and wash them really well. Put them in a saucepan with 100ml water and sugar and heat gently, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Simmer very gently for 4-5 minutes until the gooseberries are just starting to burst. Don’t cook the fruit to a purée – you want some whole soft berries in it. Leave to cool completely.
2. Cut the bread into broad strips about 4cm wide, but leave 2 whole slices that can make the top and bottom of the pudding. You need a 1.5L pudding bowl. Cut out a circle of bread the size of the bottom of the bowl, dip it briefly in the juices from the gooseberries, then lay it in
the bottom of the bowl. Dipping each piece of bread in the juices as you go, use the broad strips to line the bowl. If there are gaps just plug them with smaller pieces of bread. You must not be able to see the inside of the bowl.
3. Using a slotted spoon, put the gooseberries on top of the bread. When the bowl is half full lay some more bread strips, again dipped in the gooseberry juices, on top. Continue with the rest of the gooseberries and reserve any juice. Cut out a piece of bread large enough to cover the top of the pudding – if your slice isn’t big enough for this use what size you have, then fill in the gaps with other bits of bread. It’s really important that you cover the whole thing.
4. Put a plate on top of the pudding, then set a weight on it – a heavy can will do. Set the pudding on another plate, put it in the fridge and leave it for 24 hours, or at least overnight.
5. To turn the summer pudding out, run a round-bladed knife in between the edges of the pudding and the bowl, working right down the sides. Set a serving plate on top, invert the pudding, give it a shake, and the pudding should slide out. Dust generously with icing sugar just before serving and serve in slices with spoonfuls of extra thick cream and any reserved, strained juices.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in July 2020.