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Archive for October 12th, 2009

I was delighted to discover that you could make a version of my favourite Summer Pudding (usually raspberries, strawberries & currants) with Autumn fruits (plums, blackberries and apples) and that it was equally delicious.  This, along with Lemon Meringue Ice Cream, was the dessert course for a special family meal. 

The original version of this recipe is from my well used paperback Claire MacDonald’s Quick & Easy Desserts & Puddings, originally borrowed from the library on a long loan and then found in a charity shop.  I used the much sweeter Victoria plums in place of tart Damsons and substituted half the apples with pears to give an extra flavour dimension.  The proportions of apples to pears or plums to blackberries can be adjusted  slightly if required.  Obviously, the amount of bread needed will vary according to the size of loaf.  Dropping the apples and pears straight into salted water once peeled stops them from going brown although retaining their white colour is not absolutely essential in this recipe as they will become stained with the plums and blackberries.  It is important that time is allowed for the juices to seep into the bread and the flavours develop fully so make Autumn pudding in advance, ideally on the day before it is served although it can be made up to four days beforehand and can also be frozen.

100_8240 Autumn Pudding

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Autumn Pudding
(Serves 6-8)

8-12 thin slices of white bread, depending on loaf size, crusts removed
300g/12ozs red plums, preferably Victoria
300g/12ozs Blackberries
225g/8ozs sweet eating apples, Cox if available – peeled, cored & chopped
225g/8ozs sweet pears, Conference if available – peeled, cored & chopped
225g/8ozs soft brown sugar

1.  Line the base and sides of a 1.2litre/2 pint pudding bowl with some of the sliced bread, cutting pieces to fit any small gaps.  Leave the remaining pieces of bread to one side as they will form a central layer and the lid.

2.  Halve the plums and remove their stones if possible.  Otherwise, count the plums first so you know how many stones you have to remove from the pan.  Put the plums into a pan with 300ml/10fl ozs water.  Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Leave to cool and then remove all the stones with a slotted spoon and fork if not already done.

3.  Add the remaining blackberries, chopped apples and pears and sugar to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Using a teaspoon, remove and set aside a small number of whole cooked blackberries for decoration. 

4.  Spoon fruit into the bread lined mould up to half way.  Cover with a single layer of bread, cutting slices to size as required.  Reserve a very small amount of juice to pour over any areas of bread that remain white once the pudding is unmoulded.

5.  Continue to fill the bowl with the remainder of the fruit mixture and then add a final covering layer of bread, again cutting slices to size so the fruit is completely enclosed.  Trim off any overlapping pieces of bread

6.  Put a plate or saucer on top of the final bread layer and add a weight: a large tin or jar is ideal.  Once the pudding has cooled, place it in the fridge on a plate to catch any liquid that overflows.

7.  To serve
Autumn Pudding should be gently unmoulded onto a serving plate.  It should mostly hold its shape but usually collapses slightly.  Pour the reserved juices over the unmoulded pudding, paying special attention to any white areas.  Decorate with the reserved blackberries.  Serve with cream or ice cream.

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