Summer Pudding recipe

Summer Pudding recipe with redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries
Traditional English Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding recipe

This Summer Pudding recipe is an English classic.   Like many old-fashioned English recipes, it was developed to make use of stale bread in times when there was an imperative not to waste food and products had a shorter shelf-life due to lack of preservatives.   In the winter, Bread and Butter Pudding, was a popular way to use up bread that was past its best and in July and August,  when berries were in season, Summer Pudding was the answer!

Slices of bread, dipped in berry-flavoured syrup, are used to encase a mixture of summer berries.   One of the great things about this Summer Pudding recipe is that it can be adapted to the ingredients that you have available.  You can use any berries that are in season but make sure that you include some currants – either redcurrants or blackcurrants – as they are needed to produce the flavourful syrup.

Summer Pudding recipe
Fresh berries

Summer Pudding recipe

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Summer Pudding recipe with redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries

Summer Pudding recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Pudding
  • Cuisine: English

Description

An easy to make, no-cook,  traditional English bread pudding recipe using fresh seasonal berries.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo mixed fresh berries (NB: the mix should include some currants but otherwise use whatever you have available from: redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, loganberries, tayberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries etc)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 170 g caster sugar
  • 6 slices of white bread (crusts removed)
Summer Pudding recipe
Fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Place the currants in a saucepan together with the water and sugar. Heat until the currants have softened.  This will take about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the other berries to the saucepan with the currants and stir to combine.
  3. Use a sieve to separate the berries from the juice.
  4. Take a sheet of cling film and use it to line the inside of a small pudding basin.    This will make it easier to get the pudding out of the basin!
  5. Dip the slices of bread in the juice and use it to line the bottom and sides of the small pudding basin. You can fill in any gaps with small pieces of juice-dipped bread.
  6. Pour the berries into the bread-lined pudding basin.
  7. Cover the top of the basin with juice-dipped bread to enclose the berry mixture.
  8. Put a piece of cling film loosely over the top of the pudding basin. Put a small saucer on top of it and use something heavy (a can of beans is perfect!) to weigh it down.
  9. Leave the pudding basin in the fridge overnight.
  10. When you are ready to serve, remove the cling film from the top of the pudding basin.  Invert the basin onto a plate. Give it a sharp shake and remove the basin leaving the pudding on the plate.   Take off the cling film that you used to line the basin.
  11. Serve chilled.   Whipped cream is a good accompaniment.
Summer Pudding recipe
Summer Pudding

Notes

  • Use whatever berries are available but make sure you include some redcurrants or blackcurrants as you need these to make the flavoured syrup.
  • You need to make this recipe a day in advance of when you wish to eat it as it needs to be kept in the fridge overnight to ensure that it stays in shape when turned out.
  • This is a vegan recipe.

Keywords: summer pudding, english, berries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants

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Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

This recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream uses strawberries that have been macerated in balsamic vinegar.   The end result does not taste sour or vinegary at all.   The balsamic vinegar enhances the flavour of the strawberries and cuts through their sweetness.  Sometimes it is hard to get hold of really tasty strawberries and the addition of the vinegar can help you create super-tasty ice cream from average tasting berries.  Essentially, it is strawberry ice cream but with an extra flavour boost.

I love home-made ice cream.  It is so easy, especially if you have an ice cream maker, and you can really experiment with flavours.   Some of my other favourites include Lavender Ice-cream, Thyme ice-cream with honey and mascarponeLemon Verbena Ice-cream and Elderflower Ice-cream.

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

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Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This ice cream uses strawberries that have been macerated in balsamic vinegar.  This cuts through the sweetness of the berries and enhances their taste.   When you try the ice cream, you would not guess that it contains vinegar.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 500 g fresh strawberries
  • 55 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 425 ml double cream

Instructions

  1. Wash the strawberries, remove the green stalks and roughly chop.
  2. Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar.  Allow to macerate for around 30 minutes.
  3. Put the sugar in a saucepan with 55 ml of water.  Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.  Set the sugar syrup aside to cool slightly.
  4. Set aside 150 g of the macerated strawberries.  Place the remaining 350 g of the macerated strawberries in a blender together with the sugar syrup.  Blend to form a thick puree.
  5. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  6. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and add the heated cream, whisking all the time.
  7. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  8. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  9. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Add the strawberry puree to the custard together with the 150 g of macerated strawberries that you set aside (see point 4).
  10. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  11. When you are ready to make the ice cream, transfer to your ice cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

Although the preparation time and cook time totals 20 minutes you will need to allow additional time for the ice cream mixture to become completely cold before you freeze it.

Keywords: stawberry, ice cream, balsamic

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Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake

Strawberry Cream Victoria Sandwich
Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake

Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake

I created this Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake for a family birthday.    My brief was to produce a simple Victoria Sandwich cake with jam and cream with no “funny stuff” (why do my family always say this….?).   I tried very hard to stick to the brief and started off with a classic strawberry-and-cream Victoria Sandwich cake but, inevitably, I got enthused by the possibilities of adding an element of rose (strawberry and rose – such a great combination!).

My efforts resulted in a lovely buttery  Victoria sponge cake,  sandwiched together with strawberry and rose-flavoured jam and billowing cream, and adorned by romantically-strewn rose petals.  I was very proud until my daughter said to me “It’s not the most masculine of cakes, is it?” and I was struck by the realisation that perhaps my hearty, hill-walking husband might not be as enthusiastic about the rose petals as I was….. Luckily, he tends to focus on how things taste and was quite happy with his rather girly looking cake.  (And as one of my sons, quite rightly, commented, “you need to break those gender stereotypes, mum…!”).

I made some Crystallised Rose Petals to decorate the cake because I think they are beautiful.  They are very easy to make but you do need to make them the day before so that they have time to dry off.   I also used my home-made Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam in this cake but, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make this,  you can flavour ordinary strawberry jam with .

Victoria Sandwich
Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake
Equipment

2 x 21 cm or containers

Victoria Sandwich
Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake
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Victoria Sandwich

Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8 to 10 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a show-stopping cake which brings together the English summer tastes of strawberry and rose together with cream and buttery sponge.


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:
  • 450 g butter (softened)
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • 7 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon of rosewater
For the sandwich filling:
For the topping

Instructions

Method:  Cake

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
  3. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
  4. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
  5. Add the milk,  vanilla extract and rosewater.
  6. Grease your Victoria Sandwich tins or containers and then add the cake mixture.
  7. Bake your cakes in the oven for around 35 minutes.  They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin.  You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
  8. Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers.

Method:  Filling and topping

  1. Spread the rose-flavoured strawberry jam over the top of one of your cakes.
  2. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.  Spread it on top of the jam.  Then place the other cake on top.
  3. Put the icing sugar in a sieve and sift it over the top of the assembled cake.
  4. Decorate the cake with Crystallised Rose Petals.
  5. In the (unlikely) event that there is any cake left over, this needs to be stored in the fridge due to the cream icing.  It will keep for a couple of days but, like all sponge cakes, it tastes better when it is freshly made.

Keywords: rose and strawberry cake, victoria sandwich, cream

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Easy-to-make Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam has all the fruity loveliness of strawberries but with a floral boost provided by the addition of Rose Geranium leaves.    This recipe is based on one in Sarah Raven’s Food for Friends and Family which is one of my favourite cookery books.  It is really easy to make and is fantastic on crusty bread or as an ingredient in cakes and puddings.   If you don’t have access to Rose Geraniums, you can add a little rosewater to the jam to add a floral accent.

Strawberries for jam
Strawberries

I grow strawberries in my garden but they are  not yet ready for picking.  Therefore, as it is half-term this week, I took two of my adolescent children with me to Primrose Vale Pick-Your-Own farm which is about a half hour drive from where I live.  My two gaming-addicted companions were somewhat reluctant at the prospect of this outing but actually enjoyed it a lot (and picked more strawberries than they ate!).  It is a good spot for a family outing, with a playground for younger children, an excellent farm shop and a cafe serving drinks and snacks and wonderful, locally-produced  Winstones ice-cream.

Pelargonium
Rose Geranium
About Rose Geraniums

There are a number of scented varieties of Rose Geranium (which are actually technically pelargoniums) and all have leaves that smell of rose –  I think they actually smell a bit like Turkish Delight!  I have two varieties –  Angels Perfume and Attar of Roses  –  which I bought from Herbal Haven which is a specialist herb nursery.

Rose Geranium leaves can be used in lots of puddings and desserts to add a subtle rose flavour.  I think this is a better way than using rose-petals as you only need a few leaves whereas you need loads of petals (and, really, who wants to destroy their roses?).

Strawberry jam
So many strawberries!
Equipment

Heavy pan and a large sterilised jam jar (There are various ways of sterilising jars.  I think the easiest is to wash in soapy water and then put in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes)

Ready for jam
Strawberries and Rose Geranium leaves
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Strawberry Jam

Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 jam jar 1x
  • Category: Jam
  • Cuisine: English

Description

A beautiful summer jam, perfect to make when strawberries are in season in June or July, which has the added twist of a hint of rose.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 500 g fresh strawberries
  • 500 g jam sugar (caster sugar with added pectin)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 Rose Geranium leaves (or a teaspoon of rosewater)

Instructions

  1. Wash the strawberries and hull them (remove the green leafy bit).
  2. Put the strawberries into your pan together with the lemon juice and the Rose Geranium leaves.   If you do not have access to a Rose Geranium plant, you can add a teaspoon  of rosewater if you want your jam to have a floral accent.  Otherwise you can make it without either – it will still taste really good!
  3. Heat for around 5 minutes until the strawberries have become soft and released their juice.
  4. Add the jam sugar and bring to the boil.  Then allow to continue boiling for 10 minutes until the setting point is reached.  (You can judge the setting point by putting a saucer in your freezer before making the jam.  Spoon some of the jam onto the cold saucer and leave to cool.  If the surface of the jam crinkles when you push it with your finger, it is ready.  If not, continue boiling and try again after a few more minutes).
  5. Remove from the heat and then pour into a sterilised jam jar.

Notes

You can sterilise your jam jar by washing it in soapy water and then putting it in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes.

Keywords: strawberry jam, strawberry and rose jam, rose geranium jam

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