July 2019 Monthly Recipe / Summer Pudding
Serves 8 – 10
For the sponge
15g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
7 organic free-range medium eggs, separated
375g caster sugar
Small pinch of salt
360g plain flour, sifted
5 tbsp warm water
For the fruit
250g caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and grease 33 x 23cm baking tin. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat; set aside to cool. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar until pale and thick enough to leave a ribbon trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted.
In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the eggs whites with a pinch of salt and remaining sugar, whisking slowly to begin with, then increasing the speed slightly after a minute or two. Continue to whisk until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
Carefully fold the flour into the egg yolk and sugar mix, a third at a time, alternately with the water. Fold in the whisked whites, third at a time. Finally, fold in the melted butter.
Spread the mixture thinly and evenly in the prepared baking tin. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 8 – 10 minutes or until the sponge is just golden and dry to touch. Leave in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack while you prepare the fruit.
Place the black – and redcurrants in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice and cook over a medium heat until the fruit just starts to release its juices. Remove from heat and add the rest of the fruit and the lemon zest. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Line a 1-litre pudding basin with cling film, leaving plenty overhanging all round. Using a pastry cutter, cut 2 rounds of sponge, one to fit the bottom of the basin and one the diameter of the top. Place the smaller disc in the bottom of the basin. Now cut long, tapering strips of sponge and use to line the sides of the basin, overlapping them slightly and pressing tightly to ensure there are no gaps.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon the fruit into the sponge-lined basin, filling it to the brim. Spoon on the juices, reserving a few spoonfuls for serving. Lay the other sponge disc on top. Fold over the cling film to seal and place a saucer on top that just fits inside the rim of the basin. Weigh down with a tin (or something similar) and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, fold back the cling film and invert the pudding onto a deep plate. Using a pastry brush, smear any pale areas of sponge with the reserved juice.