Winter Solstice (Summer’s coming?) Pudding

Christmas pudding in the family for the years when I ran two allotment plots, and froze the inevitable gluts. I’ve used rasps, blackcurrants, redcurrants, brambles … whatever was in the freezer.

A special bread for it? Why not …

Ingredients for an Orange and Almond Bread

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup of tepid milk
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • 1 cup flaked almonds
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ tsp dried yeast

Method

  • Put everything into the breadmaker, switch on, and set to Basic programme for a 1.5lb loaf. Hmm – that’s what I wrote all those years ago in my notebook. Easy enough to make by hand though.
  • When the bread is finished and cool, make your summer pudding. Nothing wrong with leaving a couple of days or so.

 

For the Summer Pudding

  • As many slices (crusts removed) of the Orange and Almond Bread as you need to line and cover a 2 pint bowl or pudding basin.
  • 2lb/900g mixed soft fruit (it’s winter time, so raid your freezer – or head for the supermarket)
  • 4oz/100g sugar

Method

  • Put the fruit into a saucepan with the sugar; heat gently until the sugar is dissolved and the fruit juices have just started to run. Allow to cool.
  • Line your pudding basin with slices of the bread, cutting them to shape so they fit neatly with no gaps. Fill with the cooled fruit mixture. Cover the top with a couple of slices of bread – if there is any fruit syrup still in your pan, pour it over the top.
  • Put a saucer or plate on top, with a heavy weight on top of that. Leave pudding in a cool place, the fridge if possible, at least overnight; give the weight time to press the fruit juice into the bread.
  • Turn out and serve in slices, with cream or ice cream.
  • And dream of summer past – and summer to come!
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