Tomato summer pudding

Serves 4-6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Could this be the summer's dinner-party hit starter? My friend Anya Galaccio told me that she found this version of the classic summer pudding in the Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. After ploughing through Lindsey Bareham's The Big Red Book of Tomatoes, I then discovered that she too has created her own version; as did Jennifer Paterson.

1kg ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
250ml tomato juice, or passata
Enough white or brown sliced bread, about 5-8mm thick, crusts removed, to line a 1-litre pudding basin or 4 individual ones
1tbsp tomato ketchup
1tbsp cider vinegar
A handful of torn basil leaves

Line a 1-litre pudding basin with clingfilm, allowing it to overhang the sides (this will ease the turning-out process), and then make a circle from a slice of bread (or 4 small ones for individual moulds) to fit the base. Cut the rest of the bread into pieces to fit around the f sides, making sure that they're big enough to overlap a little. Cut a couple more pieces to fit halfway up the bowl and at the top. As you are lining the bowl, briefly dip the pieces of bread in the tomato juice, allowing them to overlap a little and pressing the joins together with your fingers.

Put the chopped tomatoes and remaining tomato juice into a saucepan with the ketchup and cider vinegar, season and warm them through for a couple minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a colander over a bowl and leave to cool.

Spoon the tomato mixture and a little of the drained juice into the lined basin up to about the halfway mark. Cover with a round of bread, then top up with the rest of the fruit, and a little more juice, and cover with a circle of bread. Fold the sides over it a little and bring the clingfilm into the middle. Put a plate on the top, weighed down with a couple of tins (or something else heavy) and leave overnight in the fridge to set.

To serve, run a small knife around the pudding to loosen it and invert it on to a serving plate. Spoon over the reserved sauce.

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