We've all been there: you've bought the ingredients, guests are on their way and you're all set to make your planned recipe when - shock horror - you notice those two dreaded little words: 'leave overnight'.
This very thing happened to me on Saturday, when I'd planned to make a summer pudding for a dinner party that me and the bloke were hosting. It had seemed like the perfect seasonal dessert, and sounded easy enough to make. But what could I do with only 8 hours to go?
The answer turned out to be pretty simple: I ignored the advice and made it anyway, using a hybrid of several recipes. And I'm happy to say it was every bit as tasty as I'd hoped! Here's my recipe for a quick summer pudding.
You'll need these things:
- A punnet of fresh strawberries
- A pack of frozen summer fruits (these seem to come in a standard size of abour 400g)
- Fresh basil
- 200g white sugar (caster works best but granulated is ok)
- berries and fresh mint to garnish
- 5 slices of white bread (preferably going stale: we found a handy 'about to expire' loaf in the supermarket bargain bin)
- hand blender or food processor
- large dish or mould
First, take half of the strawberries, chop off their stalks and cut them into four. Place them in a pan.
Next, defrost the frozen fruits in the microwave and put half of them into a pan with the strawberries. Add the sugar, and gently simmer until a syrup beings to form. Don't over cook the mixture; most of the fruit should remain intact.
Meanwhile, line your bowl with a few slices of the bread, having first removed their crusts. You can add a little milk at this stage, but I found it softened nicely without.
Next, blend the remaining half of the strawberries and summer fruit mix along with a tablespoon of chopped basic leaves until it turns into a puree.
pour some of this puree on top of the bread in the bowl, then slowly add the heated fruit mixture above it. Save back a little bit of the syrup for the next stage.
Place another layer of bread on top of the fruit, then saturate it with the remaining fruit syrup.
Find a plate or other heavy object to weigh down the underside of the pudding then store it in the fridge until it's ready to serve. We found that 7 hours was more than sufficient.
Serve with creme fraiche, ice cream or whipped cream for a delicious summer treat!