A few months ago I picked up a copy of Gregg Wallace’s ‘Gregg’s Favourite Puddings’, with a front cover sporting Gregg with the excited grin he reserves especially for the puddings conjured up by Masterchef contestants. While he always comments knowledgeably about the flavour combinations in the starters and mains, you can just tell that Gregg is itching for the grand finale: the generous portion of pudding, slowly dragged off the spoon, and the exclamation that every contestant (and viewer) wants….. ‘Now that is a pudding!’. And you just know that it is so damn good. Knowing all this, I had high expectations from this offering from Gregg. This book is full of tarts, puddings, gateaux, and dreamy desserts, and I expect it will be well used over the years. Last week a friend presented me with 2lbs of hand-picked wild blackcurrants from the wilds of Kerry. A treasure indeed. The first half was used to make a backcurrant liqueur (more about that soon) and the second pound made their way into this pudding. Super easy to make (especially if the hard work of topping and tailing the blackcurrants is already done for you, leave an hour aside for this task if not), with ingredients you’re sure to have ready to hand.
What You Need:
500g (1 lb) blackcurrants, topped and tailed if fresh, defrosted if frozen
75g (3 oz) granulated sugar
125g (4 oz) soft butter
125g (4 oz) soft light brown sugar
125g (4 oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g (1 oz) flaked almonds
Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 9 inch (23cm) fluted flan dish. I have a great glass-bottom flan tin from Lidl, but removable bottom tins really aren’t suitable here. The blackcurrants break down and go all syrupy during baking, so expect them to drip out of a loose-bottom tin. I used a slightly larger glass flan dish, and baked the pudding for about 10 minutes less than stated.
Mix the blackcurrants with the granulated sugar, and spread over the base of the greased flan tin.
Put the butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and baking powder into a bowl and beat well. You can do this by hand, using a wooden spoon, until soft and creamy. If you have a stand mixer, beat for about 1 minute.
Spread the mixture over the blackcurrants, smoothing out the top.
Scatter the flaked almonds over the top, and bake for 40 – 45 minutes (mine took 35 minutes). Check after 25 minutes, and if it’s well browned already, cover with foil for the remaining time.
Serve hot or cold, but definitely serve with vanilla ice cream! The blackcurrants remain quite tart after cooking, but if you eat the pudding warm this is less noticeable.
It will keep well for a few days (I left it loosely covered with a tea towel in a cool place), and in fact I think it tasted better on the second day. The blackcurrant juices had soaked into the sponge and it was really quite delicious.
I defy you to not want to scrape every last bit out of the dish.
Sometimes a complicated chocolatey extravaganza is what you want. Other times it’s best to keep things simple, and let the flavours shine through. This is a lovely simple dessert, ideal with some creme fraiche or ice-cream on a summer afternoon.