Cakes, cookies and other sweet treats · Nothing but desserts

Summer fruit pudding spiked with Pimms, orange and star anise

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Summer time at home growing up always meant gorgeous fresh berries from my parents garden and the hedgerows by our house. Mum would make a huge summer fruit pudding, bursting with home grown fruit to be enjoyed outside in the evening summer light. This pudding is pure summer comfort in a bowl. It’s no heavy stew, or warming soup. It’s not a slab of molten chocolate cake all warm and gooey. It’s a simple summer pudding filled with sweetness and spice.

This is a more grown up version then the one my mum would make. We infuse a syrup with orange peel, star anise and Pimms. Allowing the spice and citrus to mingle and marry. The syrup is the base for our fruit puree but can be used as a simple syrup on it’s own in drinks to bring a little summit summit to the party. Friends will think you’re fancy, and we’re totally fine with that.

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This recipe requires a little patience and a lot of bread cutting. Let’s call it therapy. Like the dinner out with a friend, even if it’s only Monday. Like a deep breathe in the fresh morning air held that little bit longer. Like hugs on the sofa that crush you and envelop you. Free therapy. So needed therapy. Our form of therapy leads to the most fruity, gorgeous summer dessert – the perfect pick me up.

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Ingredients serves 4

Infused simple syrup
1 orange, juice and 4 strips of peel
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
4 whole star anise
2 tablespoons Pimms

Summer fruit pudding
12 slices of white bread, crusts removed
2 handfuls blackberries
2 handfuls strawberries, quartered
2 handfuls raspberries
1 handful red currants

4 large ramekins

Steps
For the simple syrup:

  1. Place the sugar, water, orange peel strips, orange juice and star anise in a small pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer the syrup for five minutes, stirring every now and again to dissolve the sugar, then turn off the heat and leave until completely cool.

For the summer fruit pudding:

  1. Place roughly half the fruit in a blender with 6 tablespoons of the above infused syrup. Blend until smooth. Place the other half of the fruit into a large bowl.
  2. Pour the blended fruit mix into a shallow bowl reserving 6 tablespoons of the mixture. Add the 6 tablespoons of blended mixture to the bowl of reserved fruit and mix well to coat.
  3. Begin to prepare the bread. For a small ramekin you want a round piece of bread to fit snugly in the bottom, two long strips to go round the sides of the ramekin with overlap, and finally a slightly larger round piece to place on top. It’s important to have an slight overlap on the sides as this will keep the pudding from collapsing when taken out of it’s mould.
  4. Line the ramekins with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and then lightly oil. This will help the summer fruit pudding pop out when you’re ready to serve but you can always skip this step if desired. Start to assemble the summer fruit puddings.
  5. Dip the circular piece of bread that will form the top of the pudding into the blended fruit and place into the bottom of the ramekin. Next, dip the side pieces of bread into the fruit mix and place round the sides of the ramekin, overlapping slightly. Spoon in the fruit and press down to fill the ramekin, then dip the final piece of bread into the fruit mix and place on top. Press down gently on the pudding and pull over the clingfilm to seal the pudding. Repeat with the remaining ramekins.
  6. Place the ramekins in the fridge until ready to serve. When ready, simply ease the puddings out of the ramekin, remove the clingfilm and top with plenty of fruit and clotted cream.

Note: If you have left over fruit and syrup, combine them together to make a twist on the usual fruit salad. Serve along side the summer fruit puddings or as a desert on their own.

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