What the hell are we going to do with all these redcurrants?
There was only one thing to do - make a summer pudding.
- A kilo of mixed berries. Last time out I used half and half raspberries and redcurrants. If you have blackcurrants, a handful or two would add a pleasant tang.
- 250g of light brown sugar
- Several slices of white bread, crusts removed. The bread is important, so don't skimp. Anything too dense won't soak up the berry juices, anything too light will disintegrate. Something like a good decent sandwich loaf will work.
- Lightly grease a 1½l pudding basin, of the type you used to buy in Woolies. Line the basin with slices of bread. Make sure there are no gaps. Slightly overlapping the slices round the sides of the basin gives a good seal.
- Destalk the berries and pick out any iffy ones. Pulling half a kilo of redcurrants off their stalks is a little tedious, I'll grant, but it only takes a few minutes if you stick at it.
- Mix the berries and the sugar together. The berries will start to release some of their juice and it will all start to look a syrupy. Mix enough to incorporate all the sugar, but not so long that all the fruit is crushed. Some recipes call for the fruit to be cooked briefly - three or four minutes at most - to encourage more juice to be released. I've not, yet, found this necessary.
- Tip the fruit into the bread-lined basin. It should almost fill it. Cover the top with some more slices of bread.
- Put a small plate on the top of the pudding and weight it down. (I use two or three more plates on the top.) Pop it all into the fridge (rearranging shelves if need be), and leave it overnight.
- To serve, put a plate on top, turn the whole arrangement over, and give it a firm shake. You should hear a slight noise as the pudding comes away from the basin, and you can carry it proudly to the table. It's surprisingly firm, and will cut into slices. Serve with cream.