The perfect way to finish an al fresco supper this weekend, Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens’ take on the traditional Summer pudding is a real crowd pleaser.
To make the Summer Fruit Filling
½ kg defrosted and drained mixed berries
90g caster sugar.
1 fresh vanilla pods split and scraped
Peel from ½ lemon
½ stick cinnamon
Peel from ½ orange
40ml Vanilla essence
2g Cornflour mixed with a little water to thicken
1. Place the berries into a pan with the cinnamon stick, caster sugar, vanilla pod, water, lemon juice and cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the berries are becoming slightly soft and the juices are coming out.
2. Stir in the corn flour and cook for a minute then remove from the heat to cool.
To make the Vanilla Crème Fraiche
50g crème fraiche
50mls double cream
1 tsp caster sugar
¼ vanilla bean split and scraped
½ tablespoon of vanilla essence
1. Mix the cream with the vanilla, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk lightly
2. Add the crème fraiche and mix till thick.
To make the Strawberry Coulis
A couple of drops of lemon juice
1. Wash the strawberries first, remove the stems and cut into quarters, mix with the sugar and lemon juice and leave to marinade for 1 hour.
2. Place in the blender and puree. 30 seconds is ample to prevent the seeds being pureed into the fruit and will ensure the colour is vibrant red.
To make the Setting Jelly
¼ Strawberry coulis from above
50ml crème de cassis
2 sheets bronze leaf gelatine soaked in cold water
1. Bring 100ml of the coulis to a simmer add the crème de cassis and gelatine sheets and pass through a fine sieve.
To make the puddings
½ brioche loaf with the crust removed, cut in half width ways, then sliced lengthways about 1/2 cm thick.
4 pudding moulds
1. Cut 2 circle’s out for the base and top, these are the same size, put the base into the bottom of the moulds.
2. Cut each brioche slice into two pieces lengthways, then cut each piece into 3 narrow rectangular pieces of brioche to go all round the sides of the pudding mould (you will need four of these a portion), then fill in the gaps with smaller pieces of brioche.
3. Press these really well against the sides so they are compacted and firmly in place, place half the setting jelly onto the sponge to make it moist.
4. Place the summer fruits inside the mould carefully and do not compact the fruit too much as all the juice will come out. Add the rest of the setting jelly, making sure that you stir this in with a spoon into the fruit. Put the other disc of brioche on top and put a little weight on the top to press the fruit slightly, then chill for 3-4 hours before use.
1. Tip the pudding out of the mould on to a plate.
2. Drizzle the strawberry coulis on top of the pudding in the centre of the plate so the whole pudding is nicely covered, arrange the berries on top and around the pudding, finish with a quenelle of the crème fraiche on top of the summer pudding.
Tom Aikens is the founder of Tom’s Kitchen restaurants located in Chelsea, Canary Wharf, St Katharine’s Docks and Somerset House and the recently launched bar and deli at HMS Belfast http://www.tomskitchen.co.uk/