Blackcurrant Summer Pudding and Red Gooseberry Fool

Summer is a wonderful time for unctuous puddings. Sweet ones, sharp ones, gooey ones and normally in some shade of pink. I wish I had the willpower to buy millions of summer berries and freeze them so I can knock up a pudding anytime I fancy, but I can barely resist them enough for them to make it to the saucepan. How can you go wrong with inky blackcurrants and vibrant gooseberries? Over the weekend I had occasion to make luscious puddings with both of these fruits. First a slightly sweet, sticky blackcurrant summer pudding and then a sharp, creamy gooseberry fool. 

Blackcurrants

To make the sumptuous summer pudding, take around 500g blackcurrants and your favourite programme on the television. You’ll need to sit and take the flowers and stalks off each berry. It may seem monotonous at first but it is actually quite pleasurable and satisfying. Once complete, heat the berries very slowly with just a tiny bit of water and a little sugar in a saucepan until they start to burst. Taste the berries and add more sugar if your tooth is sweet. Remove from the heat.

Blackcurrants close up
Get yourself a nice loaf of white bread. Slice the bread, remove the crusts and then slice into thick strips. Place a whole slice of de-crusted bread in the bottom of a bowl and then line the edge of the bowl with the strips of bread. Those of you with a penchant for origami will, I’m sure, get a much neater finish than I did. Either way it should be constructed such that you could wear it as a swimming cap and your hair would remain dry.
Blackcurrant Summer Pudding

Pour in your blackcurrants and all of their juice, put one more piece of crustless bread on top and then place a heavy weight on top of the pudding. I put a plate over the top and a lead weight but anything heavy enough to squeeze the juice into the bread will do. Refrigerate for 24 hours and be prepared for a slight battle when you try and extract the pudding from the bowl. A few careful insertions of a knife and it will just plop straight out.
Apologies for the lack of photograph of the finished pudding, it was consumed with so much enthusiasm that the evidence was destroyed within seconds. Just so you know, it is actually against summer pudding law to eat it without blankets of thick cream.

Red Gooseberries

I feel sorry for the gooseberry. It doesn’t have the most attractive name, it’s hairy, the shrub is covered in thorns and it is often associated with the supermarket version of fool. Red gooseberries are much sweeter than their green counterpart and make for a much prettier finished pudding. You’ll need about 500g gooseberries and 300ml double cream. The gooseberries will also need their flowers and stalks removed before being heated gently in a pan with a little sugar and water. I have heard of adding a little elderflower cordial after heating. Check the sweetness before removing from the heat.

Red Gooseberry Fool
Whip up the cream. You need to get it to a stage where it’s unbelievably thick so that by the time the gooseberries have been mixed in it doesn’t turn into a soup. When the gooseberries are cool, fold them into the cream. You can refrigerate it to help it thicken up but I ate mine straight away it was excellent.
The berry season isn’t a long as I would like it to be but if I can munch my way through at least one of each berry then I’m happy.
All That I’m Eating

Comments

  1. says

    I go to a beach called Gooseberry because they’re all over the place but believe it or not I’ve never eaten one! I don’t even know what they taste like. I do however love black currants!

  2. says

    I’ve never made an all blackcurrant summer pudding. I have some green gooseberries in the freezer some of which I will keep for crumble when the days turn cooler.

  3. says

    I love gooseberries – my mum used to stew them when we were little and field huge arguments about how much sugar went in – she’s pretty abstemious so the sharpness always made us wince slightly but they do taste delicious!

  4. says

    I have to say I am not a big fan of blackcurrants or gooseberries, but maybe that is because I don’t eat them often enough =) Here in Holland berries are more expensive the gold so maybe it is time to grow some myself. Thank you for sharing the pudding/fool recipe

  5. says

    Awesome puds, where did you get your berries from? The supermarkets seem to stick with Usual strawberry and raspberry not a blackcurrant in site. Guess I’m going to have to seek out my local pick your own.

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