Harvest pudding

Take care not to add too much juice: if the pudding is very soggy it will collapse when turned out on the serving plate.


serves 4 - 6
225 g (8 oz) cooking plums, halved and stoned
500 g (1 lb) cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
275 g (10 oz) sugar
225 g (8 oz) fresh or frozen blackberries
8 trifle sponge cakes, cut in half horizontally
softly whipped cream, to serve (optional)


1. Put the plums, apples and 200 g (7 oz) sugar into a heavy-based saucepan. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the blackberries and remaining sugar, replace the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes, until all the fruit is very soft.

2. Turn the fruit into a nylon sieve set over a bowl to drain off the excess juice.

3. Arrange a few slices of sponge cake in the base of a 1.5 L/2V2 pint pudding basin. Cover the cake with a layer of fruit and sprinkle over about 1 tablespoon of the drained juice. Continue making layers in this way until all the cake and fruit are used, finishing with a layer of cake (see Economy).

4. Stand the basin on a plate, then cover the pudding with cling film. Put a small plate or lid which fits just inside the rim of the basin on top of the pudding. Weight the plate down, then leave the pudding in the refrigerator overnight.

5. To serve: run a palette knife around the sides of the pudding to loosen it, then invert a serving plate on top. Hold the plate and basin firmly and invert, giving a sharp shake halfway round. Carefully lift off the basin. Serve the pudding chilled, with cream, if liked.

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