The classic English summer dessert. The simplicity of the ingredients is deceptive; the tastes of this are very sophisticated. You can make this a day ahead. You can also reduce the calories ahead with a few tips that we give in the nutrition section.
- Lightly butter the bowl or pudding basin you are using. Cut slices of bread about ½ inch (1 cm) thick, and cut off crusts. Line bowl with bread slices, leaving no gaps. Press edges together well.
- Wash and clean all fruit; discard all stems and any mouldy fruit. Put fruit and sugar in a pot; put heat on medium; bring to a simmer and simmer until juice starts to come out of fruit and sugar has dissolved in it -- should be no more than 4 to 5 minutes.
- Take about ½ cup of the juice, cover it and set in fridge for later use.
- Empty the pot with its fruit and juice into the lined pudding bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with bread. Place a plate on top, and a weight on top of that to press the plate down. Put in fridge overnight or at least for several hours.
- To serve, run a knife carefully along insides of pudding bowl. Invert out onto a plate.
- Drizzle with the fruit juice that you had held back yesterday, particularly to cover any small white spots.
- Serve with a thick cream or custard.
Use a 1 ½ pint (850 ml / 3 ½ cup) bowl. Don't overcook the fruit; you want it start releasing its juice but still retain its shape. The quantity of sugar needed will vary based on the tartness or sweetness of the berries you use.
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