Summer fruit season may be coming to an end, but there are still plenty of Autumn fruiting berries – late raspberries and, of course, brambles – to enjoy. This sourdough Autumn pudding makes the most of ripe seasonal berries and is great for using up a glut of fruit or soft, past-their-best berries. It’s a twist on the classic Summer fruit bread pudding; here, sourdough makes the pud less stodgy than your standard white bread affair, and its sour tang complements the tart berries. The compote is flavoured with vanilla, rosewater and orange to add complexity of flavour. To make the sourdough Autumn pudding, via Anna Jones (though she calls hers Summer pudding and uses earlier Summer berries) you will need:
900g mixed early Autumn/ late Summer fruit, my favourites are blackberries and raspberries
4 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp rosewater
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 a loaf of stale sourdough bread.
Grease a 1-litre pudding basin or mixing bowl with butter and lay a sheet of cling film inside, leaving a bit overhanging. Warm the berries in a small saucepan over a low heat with the sugar, vanilla, rose water and orange juice for 10 – 12 minutes, until the fruits start to break down and it smells fragrant.
Slice the sourdough into 1/2 cm slices with a sharp bread knife, then trim away the crusts. Cut a round the size of the bottom of the basin and place it inside. Arrange the slices around the sides of the basin and leave some overlap above the rim. Make sure there are no gaps, pushing the slices into the sides of the bowl and patching any holes with smaller pieces of bread.
When the fruit has cooked, allow it to cool a little, then add any more sugar to taste. Strain the fruit through a sieve over a bowl, and save the strained liquid for later.
Spoon the fruit into the basin on top of the bread. Arrange some more slices of bread over the top of the fruit to make a lid, again making sure there are no gaps. Now trim off the excess bread.
Pull the cling film over the top and place a snug-fitting saucer on the top and something to weight it down, like a jar of jam. Put the bowl (including the weight) into the fridge for at least three hours, or preferably overnight, for the bread to absorb the deep purple juices. When you’re ready to eat, bubble the remaining liquid in a saucepan to reduce it by half and make a sauce.
Gently remove the pudding from the basin and pour the sauce over the top of the pudding. Serve with pouring cream.
What are you making this weekend? Are you a fan of Summer/ Autumn pudding?