Summer Pudding Loaf

Summer pudding loaf from Mary Berry Cooks. This splendid take on the timeless summer pudding can be made with blueberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.

Introduction

This loaf-shaped version of a summer pudding is easier to make than the traditional shape made in a pudding basin, and is also neater to slice and serve. If preferred, divide the recipe between two 450g (1lb) loaf tins, making one to serve now and one to freeze for later.

Remember, you will need to make this the day before you want to serve it as it needs overnight soaking.

Serves 12
Easy

Ingredients

Butter, for greasing
1.5kg (3lb) mixed summer berries (such as blueberries, red- and blackcurrants, raspberries, blackberries and loganberries)
400g (14oz) caster sugar
1 large unsliced white tin loaf or use a loaf of thick-sliced white bread, ideally 2-3 days old

Essential kit

You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, or two 450g (1lb) tins.

Instructions

Butter and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, or two 450g (1lb) tins, with a double layer of clingfilm.

Prepare the fruit by removing any leaves and stalks. Place blueberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants in a pan with the sugar and 75ml (3 fl oz) water and bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the berries have just softened and burst but don’t overcook. You don’t need to cook raspberries, blackberries or loganberries but if using only these types of berry, you will need to cook one type to get it to release its juice. If using in combination with the cooked fruit above, just add them to the pan at the end.

Using a sharp knife, cut the crusts off all sides of the loaf of bread, then cut the loaf lengthways into medium-thick slices so that you have long slices rather than square slices. Brush one side of the slices that are to line the tin generously with fruit juice from the berry mixture.

Place one slice of bread in the base of the tin, juice-brushed side down, trimming it to fit. Place a slice of bread either side of the inside of the tin and cut slices to fit both ends of the tin, putting the juice-brushed side against the tin.

Spoon a little of the berry juice into the base, making sure that all the bread is well soaked in juice, then add the fruit gradually, making sure the bread soaks up all the juices and becomes red. When the tin is full of fruit, top with bread to seal it, making sure there are no gaps. Spoon over a couple of tablespoonfuls of juice from the remaining berries, to make the whole top turn red. You should have about half the amount of berries left over, which are lovely served alongside each slice of the pudding.

Cover the top with clingfilm. Place a weight such as a can of baked beans on top of the loaf to press the mixture down; this will ensure that the mixture soaks into the bread and it becomes firm enough to cut. Place the loaf in the fridge overnight.

To turn out, peel back the clingfilm, then turn the loaf upside-down on to a plate and remove all the clingfilm.

Serve cut into slices with the remaining berries and juice.

This should be made a day in advance, but will also keep for 2 days in the fridge.

Mary's wise words:

Try to use a loaf of bread that is 2-3 days old. If too fresh, it is difficult to slice evenly and won't be firm enough to hold its shape. Make sure you press the fruit and juices down well into the tin to ensure that all the juices soak into the bread as you layer it up. 

If you like, use a little Cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur) to boost the fruity flavour. Always taste the fruit and adjust the sweetness, you want it to be sweet yet have a refreshing sharpness too.

You will have a little bread left over but don't let this go to waste; make it into breadcrumbs and freeze them to use for stuffings or to coat fish, fish cakes or chicken. 

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