Food Phile - One Year Older - Any The Wiser...

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By Philip Brocklehurst of Yellowwedge Cheese

One Year Older - Any The Wiser...

Well blow me down, but a whole year has gone by since my first post on Independence Day 2010 [so Happy Birthday to America too while we’re about it]. I really had no idea what to expect when I started all this, but to the thousands of visitors I’ve now welcomed along the way I’d like to say a huge thank you for your support during my first year in the blogosphere.

Looking back I find that I’m clearly more interested in purple foods than I ever realised [I’m going to have to add that as a tag now!] and a quick glance at the tag cloud over to the right tells me that garlic, cream, eggs and butter are frequently featured. A quick glance at my waistline could probably have told me the same.

Looking forward, I see also that the tag ‘recipe’ has been the most used to date and so far these have mainly been my own. In future I think I’ll also tell you more about my experiences with other people’s, and maybe even include the odd review or opinion piece. Travel, too, will hopefully also feature more.

But for now, summer fruits are everywhere - so let’s have pudding!

To fill a 1.1 litre pudding basin

  • 6 or 7 slices day old white bread
  • About 1kg mixed summer fruit [I used strawberries, raspberries, black currants and blueberries, but vary according to what you fancy or is available]
  • 3 tbsps sweet fruit liqueur* [plus more to finish]
  • 3 tsps caster sugar [or vanilla sugar]

*I had some crème de framboises lurking in the drinks cabinet but I can highly recommend one of the offerings from Bramley and Gage if you’re shopping.

Put the fruit, liqueur and sugar into a pan and cook gently for about 5 minutes so that the fruit juices start to run but the fruits still retain some body and shape. Using a sweet fruit liqueur like this significantly cuts down on the amount of sugar you’d otherwise add.

Drain the fruit in a sieve into a bowl to catch all the juices. Cut a circle from the middle of one slice of bread. Remove the crusts from the other slices and cut through the middle at an angle, thus:

how to cut bread

Dip the circle of bread into the reserved juices and place in the bottom of the bowl. Do the same with the cut pieces and arrange in overlapping layers around the sides. Fill with fruit, and top with more juice-dipped pieces of bread, tucking the ends of the side pieces over this base. Sprinkle over a little more fruit liqueur if it’s for a grown-up party! Wrap with clingfilm, set the bowl into a shallow dish to catch any drips, place a saucer or small plate on top, and top this with a heavy weight [or a couple of tins of beans].

Refrigerate for 24 hours, and when ready to serve unwrap, place a plate over the bowl and invert. A couple of sharp taps or a good shake should see the pudding break free from the bowl, usually with a satisfying ‘schlurping’ sound.

If you have juices remaining reduce them in a pan to a syrupy sauce and pour this over the pud. And if you’re in the mood add another sprinkle of the fruit liqueur too. All you need now is some clotted cream. And a spoon.

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