A Hume

A Hume
Summer Puddings – Fruity Friends Old and New

Summer Puddings – Fruity Friends Old and New

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By mid- August it seems that summer is trickling away fast and the need to make the most of every moment is even more pressing than ever. This is as true in the kitchen as it is outdoors, all those delicious summer fruits, berries of all kinds, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines will soon disappear so get the most out of them while you can.


Peach and Almond Cake with Lavender Syrup


This recipe comes from Genvieve Taylor’s wonderful cookbook A Good Egg. It was given to me as a gift and is my favourite recipe book of 2013. It’s absolutely packed with seasonal recipes for the entire year – the sort of book you will go to again, and again, every time you want to spice up your repertoire.


peach and almond cake

Peach and Almond Cake with Lavender Syrup. Photo credit Jason Ingram.


I made this recipe for some female friends known for their dainty, dancer-like appetites – to my huge surprise they scoffed the lot.


Genevieve also has a blog, The Urban Kitchen. Your life will be richer if you visit and cook just one recipe.


for the lavender syrup:

180g caster sugar

20g fresh lavender flowers, about 4 tablespoons (pick tight deeply coloured buds)

100ml cold water


for the cake:

225g unsalted butter

225g caster sugar

3 eggs

150g ground almonds

100g plain flower

1 tsp baking powder

500g peach flesh – about 5 large peaches – cut to bite sized pieces

a few extra lavender flowers to garnish (optional)


23-25cm spring-form tin, lined on the base and greased around the sides

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 5.


Make the syrup by bringing all the ingredients to the boil in a small heavy based saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to infuse whilst you get on with the cake.


Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. The easiest way to do this is in a food mixer, but a wooden spoon and plenty of elbow grease will do the job just as well for the more energetic.


Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Tip in the almonds, flour and baking powder and fold together until well combined. Finally fold the peach flesh gently through the cake batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and pour over the strained syrup, allowing it to cool in the tin a little before you try to remove it. Decorate with a few fresh lavender flowers scattered over the top, which your guests can eat, or simply admire before discretely picking off.



Plum Pie


This has been a great season for fruit trees and if you have a plum tree in your garden, or a neighbour looking to see off a glut then there can be no more noble end to the life of a plum, than in a pie.


plum pie

Plum Pie: image source http://pinterest.com/pin/14636767509351697/


This recipe hails from Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol II. I always think of Nigel Slater as a master of puddings and so when he says this is the perfect pastry to go with the extravagant juiciness of the plums then I trust him.



For the pastry:

butter, 100g
golden caster sugar, 100g
an egg, lightly beaten
plain flour, 175g
baking powder, ½ tsp
a little milk for brushing


For the filling:

ripe plums or greengages, 800g-1kg
golden caster sugar, 2-3 tbsp
ground cinnamon, a knifepoint


Cream the butter and caster sugar in a food mixer till light and fluffy.


Mix in the lightly beaten egg, then gently add the flour and baking powder. Remove dough from the mixing bowl and roll into a ball on a heavily floured work surface. Knead the dough for a minute or two until smooth and soft. Wrap in greaseproof or waxed paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Cut the ripe plums in half and remove their stones.


Cut the fruit into large pieces, toss with the caster sugar and cinnamon and put into a lightly buttered 20–22cm baking dish.


Roll out the pastry on a floured board, then lift carefully on to the pie. There will be a little left over. The crust is very short and it really doesn’t matter if it tears as you lower it over the fruit. Some of the juice will probably erupt through it as it cooks anyway. At least I hope so.

Brush the pastry lightly with milk and bake for 40 minutes. The pastry should be pale-biscuit coloured. Dust with caster sugar and serve warm with cream.


Classic Summer Pudding


It’s really not possible to write about summer puddings without including a recipe for the eponymous pud itself but the truth is I don’t often make Summer Pudding. Perhaps it’s the need to make it the day before, or at least a goodly number of hours before you plan to eat it but really, that’s a terrible excuse. It’s so easy and every time I do make the very small effort, I vow to do so more often.


Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding: image source http://pinterest.com/pin/387942955371747011/

300g strawberries

250g blackberries

100g redcurrants

500g raspberries

or 1¼kg mixed berries and currants of your choice

175g golden caster sugar

7 slices day-old white bread, from a square, medium-cut loaf



Wash the fruit and gently dry on kitchen paper, keeping the strawberries separate. Put the sugar and 3 tbsp water into a large pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil for 1 min, then tip in the fruit (not strawberries) and cook for 3 mins. over a low heat, stirring 2-3 times. The fruit will be softened, mostly intact and surrounded by dark red juice. Put a sieve over a bowl and tip in the fruit and juice.  Reserve the fruit and the juice separately.


Line a 1.25-litre pudding basin with cling film – this helps turn out the pudding. Let the edges overhang by about 15cm.

Cut the crusts off the bread. Cut 4 pieces of bread in half, a little on an angle, to give 2 lopsided rectangles per piece. Cut 2 slices into 4 triangles each and leave the final piece whole.


Dip the bread into the juice for a few secs just to coat. Push this into the bottom of the basin. Now dip the wonky rectangular pieces one at a time and press around the basin’s sides so that they fit together neatly, alternately placing wide and narrow ends up. If you can’t quite fit the last piece of bread in it doesn’t matter, just trim into a triangle, dip in juice and slot in. Spoon in the softened fruit, adding the strawberries here and there as you go. Use the last slice of bread to cover the mould and trim the edges. Pull the cling film over the top of the pudding, seal with a plate and weight down with something suitably heavy.


Chill for 6 hrs or overnight. To turn out, unravel the cling film, put a serving plate upside-down on top and flip over. Serve with leftover juice, any extra berries and cream.


Adapted from BBC Good Food.