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Wheat Free Lavender Summer Pudding

ingredients

serves 6
1 kg (2.2 lb) 6 heaped cups of frozen (thawed) or fresh summer berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, black and red currants
425 ml (15 fl oz) scant 2 cups of red vermouth
Juice and zest of 1 small orange
1 tablespoon of fresh lavender flowers, washed in cold water
2 heaped tablespoons of caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon of (WF) cornflour (cornstarch) dissolved in 1 tablespoon of cold water
2 tablespoons of distilled lavender water
1 loaf of (WF) white or a light brown bread
Some little sprigs of fresh lavender for decoration
900 ml (1 1/2 pint) 4 cup pudding basin

method

1. If you are using frozen fruit, let the juices drain into a dish so that you can use them in the recipe.

2. Put any juices with the vermouth, orange juice and zest, lavender flowers and sugar into a nonstick saucepan and bring to the boil.

3. Turn down the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

4. Stir in the dissolved cornflour (cornstarch), bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.

5. As soon as the sauce is very thick and clear, take the pan off the heat.

6. Remove the sprigs of lavender and discard them.

7. Stir the lavender water and all the fruit into the thick sauce and leave it to cool.

8. The fruit will inevitably let out more juices, so the sauce must be very thick. if you have any doubts then add a little more dissolved cornflour (cornstarch) and boil up again before adding the lavender water and berries.

9. Slice the bread very thinly, trim the crusts off and cut the slices diagonally into halves.

10. Line the bottom and sides of the pudding basin with the triangles of bread.

11. When the berry mixture is cold, fill the lined basin with the mixture, then cover the fruit with the remaining bread.

12. Place a plate directly on top of the bread - it should just fit into the basin and cover the bread completely.

13. Press the plate down with a weight or a heavy can.

14. Put the basin onto a larger plate to catch any overflowing juices, and chill the pudding in the refrigerator for 8 - 24 hours.

15. Just before serving, turn the pudding onto a large plate and decorate with sprigs of fresh lavender. if you turn the pudding out too early it might collapse or bulge slightly, so it is better left to the last minute to guarantee perfect results.

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