Red Summer Fruit Pudding
- 1 lg. loaf white bread, thickly sliced with crusts removed
- 3 1/2 lb. washed summer fruit (strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, and best of red currants)
- 1 C. sugar
- lemon zest (unwaxed)
Prepare fruit by removing any bad berries, etc. Remove crusts from bread. Butter the inside of a 3-pt. pudding basin then line the basin with the bread slices - do not leave any gaps (overlap if necessary.) Press the edges together so the bread forms a complete mold inside the bowl. Reserve about 1/2 lb. raspberries for decoration at end. Place remaining berries with sugar and lemon zest into saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the fruits are releasing their juices - takes about 5 minutes - don't overcook as you want the fruits to keep their shapes. Reserve about 3/4 C. of the juice, then cool and refrigerate. Pour the remainder of the fruit into the pudding basin - seal the top completely with slices of bread. Cover the bread with a flat plate/saucer that fits snugly inside the basin, then weigh down the plate with a 3-lb. weight (very heavy can or jar will do.)Leave in fridge overnight, the weight will cause the juice to bleed through the bread, staining it red. Gently slide a flexible spatula between the bread and the basin to loosen. Invert the bowl onto a serving dish - it should slide easily into place.
Add a few drops of red coloring to the 3/4 C. set aside fruit juice, and use this to gently coat any areas that still have a white tinge - pour remainder of juice over entire pudding. Put the reserved rasperberries all around the bottom of the pudding. Serve with real whipped cream and a sprig of mint or vanilla ice cream (optional.)