|2¼ pounds||Soft red fruit, such as: Black and Red Currants Blackberries, Raspberries, and Bilberries|
|3½ ounce||Caster sugar (4 oz if nec.)|
|1||Strip lemon rind (optional)|
|8||To 10 slices day old white|
|Bread (1/4" thick)|
Pick over and clean the fruit, put into a bowl with sugar to taste and the lemon rind, if used, and leave overnight. Turn the fruit and sugar into a pan, discarding the lemon rind, and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes until very lightly cooked. Remove from heat. Cut the crusts off the bread. Cut a circle from 1 slice to fit the bottom of a 1¼ litre pudding basin. Line the base and sides of the basin with the bread, leaving no spaces. Fill in any gaps with small pieces of bread. Fill with the fruit and any juice it has made while cooking.
Cover with bread slices. Place a flat plate and a 1kg weight on top, and leave overnight, or longer if refrigerated.
Serve turned out, with chilled whipped cream, sweetened if liked.
Note. This 18th century pudding was invented (probably at Bath) for spa patients on a slimming diet who were not allowed the rich creams and pastries popular at the time. It was then called Hydropathic Pudding. Bilberries are traditionally used in the North.
Source: Mrs Beeton's Cookery and Household Management Submitted By ROBERT MILES On 05-09-95
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