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Blackcurrants: Summer Pudding

If you use a mixture of berries in a summer pudding, you have to go easy on the blackcurrants because they have a habit of overwhelming everything else, but on their own they give a brilliantly intense result.

Serves 8

1kg of blackcurrants

200g caster sugar

10-12 1cm-thick slices of 1-2 day old white bread, crusts removed

Put the fruit in a heavy-based pan and stir in the sugar. Bring to the boil on a moderate heat and then simmer for 2 minutes to melt the sugar and release a fair bit of the juice.

Line a large (around 2-litres) pudding basin, or two smaller basins or dishes with the bread. Start with the base, then cut wedges for the sides and finally fill in any gaps.

Spoon in the blackcurrants, making sure you keep back 2-3 tablespoons of the juice. Cover the fruit completely with more bread and trim any that sticks up at the sides.

Put a plate that fits as closely as possible on top. Weight it down (with a couple of tins or jars of jam). Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. To turn it out, remove the small plate and put a large plate face down over the basin. Holding the basin and plate firmly together, turn them over.

Remove the basin and pour the reserved juice over the top of the pudding, covering up any bits of bread that remain white. Serve with crème fraiche, clotted cream or double cream - lots of it.

Original photograph by Rob White.

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