At this time of the year, farm shops, markets and supermarkets are filled with the vibrant colours of summer berries. Everywhere you look, there are oodles of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. These individual puddings incorporate all of these delicious fruits to form a tangy, lighter dessert option for these warmer summer nights.
- 350g mixed berries, fresh or frozen (e.g. raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, blueberries and strawberries)
- 2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- sunflower oil
- 3-4 slices of slightly stale white bread, crusts removed
- extra-thick double cream, to serve
- 2 teaspoons sifted icing sugar, to serve
- Tip all of the berries into a saucepan, apart from the strawberries if you’re choosing to use some. Sprinkle over the golden caster sugar and stir together. Set the pan over a low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has started to release its juices.
- Increase the heat, bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes until the fruit is soft and you have lots of deep red juices.
- If you are using the strawberries, quarter them while your other berries are simmering, and then stir them in with the lemon zest.
- Remove the pan from the heat and strain the fruit through a sieve, reserving the juices.
- Meanwhile, lightly oil 2 x 175ml dariole moulds or 2 large teacups, and line with cling film.
- Using a pastry cutter, stamp out 2 small circles of bread to fit in the base of each mould. Dip one side into the reserved juices while still hot, and place, juice-side down, into the bottom of the lined mould. Cut another 2 larger circles from the bread, and slice the remainder into 2.5cm-wide strips that are the same height as the mould. Dip the strips into the juices and use to line the sides of the moulds in the same way, pressing each piece in place and overlapping slightly.
- Pack the strained fruit into the bread-lined moulds, reserving some fruit and juices for serving. Fold over any strips of bread that protrude from the mould, then dip the final 2 larger circles of bread in the juices and top the puddings to seal.
- Cover with cling film and push down firmly with the palm of your hand. Pop in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve, whip together the cream and icing sugar. Turn the puddings out on to plates, top with the reserved fruit and juices, and serve with the sugared cream.
These little individual puddings are a great alternative to hot dessert, making them great for summer evenings. They’re also low-fat and packed with natural flavours, so they’re perfect if you’re looking for a lighter option.