This Summer Pudding recipe is an English classic which was developed specifically to make use of stale bread. It 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. In summer, 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.
An easy to make, no-cook, traditional English bread pudding recipe using fresh seasonal berries.
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)
Place the currants in a saucepan together with the water and sugar. Heat until the currants have softened. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the other berries to the saucepan with the currants and stir to combine.
Use a sieve to separate the berries from the juice.
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!
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.
Pour the berries into the bread-lined pudding basin.
Cover the top of the basin with juice-dipped bread to enclose the berry mixture.
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.
Leave the pudding basin in the fridge overnight.
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.
Serve chilled. Whipped cream is a good accompaniment.
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 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.
What you need to know about this Strawberry Ice Cream
As I am keen on using seasonal, local produce, I generally make this ice cream in late May to September when it is strawberry season in England. However, you can make it all the year around.
You need to make sure that you use balsamic vinegar rather than ordinary vinegar to make this recipe. Balsamic vinegar has a rich sweetness which offsets its sharpness and really brings out the flavour of the strawberries.
Although you can make this recipe without an ice cream maker, it is a lot easier if you have one. You can buy a basic ice cream maker fairly cheaply.
It is best to start this recipe the day before you eat it. This will mean that once you have made the basic custard, it will have time to chill down before you put it in the ice cream maker the next day.
You can also make this ice cream well in advance if that is more convenient. I generally make double the quantity and keep it in the freezer where it will last for up to three months.
As with most home-made ice creams, it helps to remove the container from the freezer about ten minutes before serving as this will make it easier to scoop.
I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other ice cream recipes are listed below.
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.
500 g fresh strawberries
55 ml balsamic vinegar
110 g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
425 ml double cream
Wash the strawberries, remove the green stalks and roughly chop.
Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar. Allow to macerate for around 30 minutes.
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.
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.
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!
Put the egg yolks in a bowl and add the heated cream, whisking all the time.
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.
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.
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).
Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
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.
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.
This Strawberry Roulade is an easy dessert recipe that consists of a light rolled sponge filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream. In this recipe, I have used my Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam for the filling which gives it a subtle flavour of rose. In essence, it is a posh strawberry Swiss Roll.
It is a good dessert for a party as it looks impressive on the table, can be made in advance and is easy to slice into individual portions. It is a bit retro but, in my view, is none the worse for that. If you are looking for another good roulade recipe, you might also like my Rhubarb Roulade.
What you need to know about this Strawberry Roulade recipe
You need a Swiss Roll tin – a shallow, flat tin (approximately 38 cm x 26 cm or 10 x 15 inches) to make this recipe. It also makes it much easier if you have a food-processor with a whisk attachment or an electric whisk as hand-whisking the mixture can take a while.
This is a very quick recipe. The sponge is thin so it cooks in 15 minutes which is much more quickly than a cake.
It is vital that you roll up the roulade (step 8) while it is still warm. If you leave it to cool before doing this, it will be very hard to roll.
It is good for a party as, in addition to looking good on the table, it is easy to slice into individual portions.
I use my Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam to add a hint of rose flavour. If you want to add a note of rose to your roulade, you can add a few drops of rosewater to a good home-made or shop-bought strawberry jam.
In this recipe, I used whipped cream and strawberry jam to fill the roulade. However, you could use another type of jam – raspberry or black cherry are good options – or honey as a substitute. You could also use fresh fruit, or a mixture of jam and fruit if you prefer. Any fresh berry, such as raspberries or blueberries, are good. You could also use a fruit compote, a simple mixture of fresh fruit and sugar which has been cooked very quickly, as a substitute. I have a recipe for Rhubarb Roulade which uses rhubarb compote.
200 ml (700 fluid oz) double cream, whipped to form soft peaks
A little icing sugar
Set oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
Line your Swiss roll tin with baking parchment or grease-proof paper.
Combine the eggs and sugar and whisk until thick and foamy. This can take up to 5 minutes. This is one recipe where you really need a food processor with a whisk attachment or an electric whisk rather than attempting to do it with a hand whisk.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the foamy egg and sugar mixture.
Pour the combined mixture into your Swiss roll tin.
Put the tin in the oven and bake the sponge for 15 minutes until firm and golden.
Turn the cooked sponge onto another sheet of baking parchment or grease-proof paper on which you have sprinkled around a tablespoon of caster sugar.
While the sponge is still warm, roll it up so it looks like a Swiss roll with the paper inside. You need to roll it up while it is warm – you can’t do this when it has cooled off as the cake will crack! Allow to cool completely.
You need to construct your roulade a couple of hours before you are ready to eat it – otherwise, the cream and jam will make it soggy. You need to unroll the sponge and remove the paper. Spread your jam over the sponge and top it with the whipped double cream. Don’t spread filling too thick and don’t take it quite up to the edge of the sponge (leave a gap of a couple of centimetres). This will avoid too much squidging out when you roll the cake up again!
Roll the filled cake up into a Swiss roll shape again.
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.
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.
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?).
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)
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.
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)
Wash the strawberries and hull them (remove the green leafy bit).
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!
Heat for around 5 minutes until the strawberries have become soft and released their juice.
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).
Remove from the heat and then pour into a sterilised jam jar.
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
Strawberries and Rose Geranium leaves – ready for jam!